Suspected drug smugglers arrested in Songkhla, Chiang Rai


SONGKHLA, Feb 2 – Thai authorities on Thursday arrested three suspects allegedly smuggling cannabis and seized 390 kg of cannabis in Hat Yai district of Thailand’s southern border province of Songkhla as well as 360,000 meth pills in northernmost Chiang Rai province.

Provincial Police Region Nine commander Lt-Gen Pisit Pisuthsak said the three men, identified as Mabu Saiedtani, 38, Bukkohree Noowilai, 26, and Wichai Sadol, 38, were arrested in a pickup truck loaded with 390kg of cannabis, worth Bt2.5 million hidden in fruit baskets. They were about to pass a Tah Sai- Bangyee check point in Kong Hae sub-district of Hatyai district.

The suspects told the police that they were paid by a Malaysian dealer to deliver the drug from Songkhla’s Hat Yai district to Rattaphum district. They were charged with possession of cannabis for sale.

Meanwhile, Chiang Rai governor Pongsak Wangsame, accompanied by provincial police chief Pol Maj Gen Wanchai Suwansirikhet and Pha Muang Task Force commander Col Yongyuth Laokhetkan told a news briefing of the arrest of an ethnic Hmong man, Sanya Saewa, attempting to smuggle 362,000 meth pills in air cargo to the Thai capital.

Police investigation soon led to the arrest of alleged two Chiang Rai-based drug dealers, siblings of ethnic Hmong identified as Sethapong Songpreedakul and Nuntakan Amornwasinkul. Their 10 million baht worth of assets in Viang Kan district, including an AK-47 assault rifle were confiscated, but Ms Nutakan escaped arrest. Police are now seeking court approval for an arrest warrant.