FIVE men were arrested on the charges of attempting to smuggle over 2 million methamphetamine pills from Nong Khai province to Bangkok for sale during the New Year festivities, Amarin TV said today (Dec. 30).
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thammasak Pinthong, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 4, together with other senior officers briefed the press about the details of this case at 11 a.m. today. They identified the five suspects as Mr. Noppadon Patitang, 29, Mr. Selaphum Srihom, 22, Mr. Theerapong Sirito, 26, Mr. Worawut Detharit, 23, and Mr. Pharak Saehia, 20.
Seized from them were five sacks containing approximately 2,048,000 meth pills, worth around 100 million baht, and a sport utility vehicle and a motorcycle. Further investigation in Udon Thani province led to the seizure of two more sedans.
Pol. Col. Anusak Sakdawatchanon, deputy head of Nong Khai Provincial Police, said there had been a tip-off that a large quantity of narcotics was being smuggled to Thailand behind a noodle shop at the pier on Rim Khong road on Dec. 28 night.
A team of police officers lay in wait in the area that night and at around midnight a long-tail boat came across and moored at that point. Just then Pharak and Worawut rode up on their motorcycle and the men on the boat told them to help unload the sacks after which they sailed away.
Police then moved in and arrested the two of them.
An hour later the three remaining suspects drove up in their SUV and were also immediately arrested.
Upon being questioned the suspects said meth pills had been smuggled to Thailand many times with the drop off point being changed to different locations in Mueang Nong Khai district.
This lot of the drug was destined for Bangkok during the New Year celebration.
The three men who came in the vehicle said they were to be paid 200,000 baht to transport the drug while the two who came on a motorcycle and acted as watchdogs 5,000 baht each.
Nong Khai police display the large amount of meth pills they seized and chart with masked images of the five suspects. Photos: Amarin TV