IN COORDINATED raids across four provinces Narcotics Suppression Bureau police arrested a drug trafficking family and seized 200 million baht worth of assets from them, INN News and Sanook.com reported this morning (August 5, 2020).
Arrested were the couple, Mr. Sawang and Mrs. Wanphen, and also his two sons on drug trafficking charges after raids on 30 targeted places in four provinces, 22 in Chiang Mai, one in Chiang Rai, one in Bangkok and six in Prachuab Khiri Khan.
Seized from this family were 24 luxury houses, five shophouses, title deeds for 12 land plots, 22 vehicles and 27 motorcycles, all worth 200 million baht.
The assets were held by various members of Sawang’s family
Armed with a search warrant police raided couple’s house in Hua Hin district of Prachuab Khiri Khan province after finding out that the former is the key man ordering drugs from a neighbouring country for distribution in Southern region.
However only Wanphen was there together with 10 other people whom she said some were relatives while others were friends from Koh Samui who were staying with them.
She told police she was Sawang’s third wife and that she had a business selling souvenirs to foreigners. They had been living in this house which was acquired on leasehold for 10 years now.
She added that she is usually with her husband every day but he had gone to Ratchaburi province two to three days earlier to sell some products and had not been in touch since then.
Police did not believe her because they had found a link between a group of drug traffickers arrested in Kamphaeng Phet province on March 3 carrying over 5 million tablets of methamphetamine pills and her. The money transfer route and phone calls to her had been detected.
Police said Sawang is Hmong hilltribe Thai and previously lived in the North. He later turned into a drug broker and had a delivery team in place to transport the narcotics because he knew all the routes well.
Two years ago he moved to Prachuab Khiri Khan and opened a discount shop selling everything for a fixed price of 20 baht.
In 2016 police had seized 90 million baht of Sawang’s assets on suspicion he was linked to a drug gang but had to return them through lack of evidence.
However police kept track of Sawang and found out that over the past two years his discount business had an unusual amount of cash revolving, with key evidence being that he used 45 million baht to build some shophouses.
After gathering more evidence police got arrest warrants for Sawang, his wife and his two sons on c drug trafficking charges.
Top: Police moving in to search the drug trafficking family’s house in Hua Hin. Photo: Sanook.com
First and second below: The key suspects arrested. Photos: Amarin TV
Third below: A poster showing the images of the four suspects, from left, Sawang, Wanphen, and Sawang’s two sons. Photo: One31.net
This report has been updated with new photos added below.