THREE suspects were arrested in Chiang Mai in the seizure of 35 kilogrammes of heroin with the traffickers having changed the product from blocks to power packed in plastic bags to make it easier to smuggle to third countries, Sanook.com said today (Oct. 11).
Pol. Lt. Gen. Piya Tawichai, commander of Provincial Police Region 5, said this is the biggest heroin seizure in Chiang Mai over the past three to four years.
A narcotics suppression police unit had followed three suspects, Mr. Athit Jawo, Mr. Ja-ue Chathopa, and Mr Janu, in Chiang Dao district and later found them loading goods onto a pickup truck at a cemetary.
Upon finding out that it was heroin they were loading onto the vehicle police arrested Arthit right away with the other two managing to escape but were later apprehended in the same district.
Found at the scene were in 100 plastic bags, weighing 35 kilogrammes, all stamped with a logo showing a pair of lions stepping on the globe.
Police said this is the first time they had come across powder heroin packed bags as previously it came in one-kilogramme blocks. This is an attempt to make it easier to smuggle in Thailand and to third countries.
The value of the seized heroin in Chiang Mai is 1 billion baht and if it had reached the central region it would have doubled to 2 billion baht. Should it have reached third countries the value would have skyrocketed.
The three suspects said the heroin belonged to Mr. Lee, a Chinese national, and Mr. Janasing, a member of a minority group. It was to be transported from Chiang Mai to drug networks in southern Songkhla province’s Hat Yai district for further smuggling to third countries.
The heroin seized in Chiang Mai. The Thai headline says, “It is not powder.” Photo: Sanook.com
Earlier reports: Hong Kong seizes record HK$2.2bn worth of narcotics