Bt3 billion in heroin seized in Ranong


RANONG, March 26 – A joint operation of police agencies raided an aquatic animals export company in the southern province of Ranong and seized almost 150 kg of heroin headed for Australia. 

Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang; Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) secretary general Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen and a representative from the Australian police jointly chaired a press conference announcing the crackdown on the illicit drug ring.

Gen Pongsapat said the the ONCB, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Provincial Police Region 8, Ranong provincial police, the Immigration Bureau and the Marine Police jointly searched a commercial building in the provincial seat which was the business place of a company named Pisamai International Trading Service, a buyer of aquatic animals for export.

Two suspects were arrested: Thai national Krisna Meenan, 40 and a Malaysian identified as Yi Yong Ho, 40.

The authorities seized 147kg of heroin hidden in boxes of frozen fish.

Gen Pongsapat said that the police have closely monitored the movements of the group for more than one month after receiving a request for cooperation from the Australian authorities.

He said the two men were found bringing suitcases into the company premises and use the place to prepare heroin before delivering to Australia.

According to Pol Gen Pongsapat, the drug was A graded heroin produced in Myanmar. It was packed in 420 small packages and secreted in scattered clocations within 23 boxes of frozen seafood.

The total haul was estimated to be worth up to Bt3 billion, more than US$90 million, if successfully smuggled to Australia.

Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Surapol Tuanthong, chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau added that the Thai police have cooperated with police in many countries in and outside ASEAN in order to crack down on drug trafficking rings in and out of ASEAN.