Ex-US Navy seaman to be deported to US for trial

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BANGKOK, Sept 27 – A former American Navy seaman, arrested in the southern province of Phuket on drug trafficking and other charges, will be handed over to US Drug Enforcement Administration officials

for trial in the US, a senior Thai official said today.

Priewpan Damapong, adviser to the prime minister, said Joseph Manuel Hunter, 47, would be put on a chartered plane to the US. He was arrested with five foreign accomplices on Wednesday.

He said Hunter had been on the US most wanted list and investigation of the suspect would be under the US officials’ authority.

Five other suspects who were nabbed with Hunter included two Britons, a Slovak, a Filipino and a Taiwanese.

Police said they were members of an international mafia network involving in drug trafficking, sex trade and other offenses.