THREE suspects were arrested after police found over 32 kilogrammes of heroin hidden in hollowed out wooden crates in which jade stone statues and other auspicious objects were packed for shipment to Australia, Amarin TV said today (July 27).
Pol. Maj. Gen. Montree Thetkhan, chief of Crime Suppression Division police, said the heroin was found after a tip-off that a large amount of drugs is heading overseas.
Investigation led to the discovery of 831 packets of heroin, weighing over 32 kilogrammes, hidden in hollowed-out crates in which jade stone statues and other auspicious items were packed. It is worth approximately 10 million baht in Thailand but the value would rise to 100 million baht if it had reached Australia.
It was learnt that the jade objects had been carved in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, and sent to Salaya district, Nakhon Pathom province, from where it was to be shipped to Australia.
Upon identifying the three suspects who were in charge of transporting the drug consignment, police arrested them yesterday.
One of them was identified as Mr. Thiraphong (surname withheld), or Benz, who had previously been sentenced to 22 years, nine months and 15 days in prison for possession of over 3 grammes of pure Category 1 narcotic (other than LSD or methamphetamine). The other two suspects do not have criminal records.
However all three have denied the charges filed against them.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Montree Thetkhan and his team announcing the drug bust, above, and seized heroin and hollowed-out crates in which they were hidden, below and Front Page. All photos: Amarin TV