Nine suspects, among them one local community leader, were arrested in three drug crackdowns during the past week, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau revealed yesterday.
In the first operation in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Pa Pao district, police apprehended four suspects — Akha Janu, 54, Suwichai Phongthawirat, 23, Jamu Jalu, 21, and Janga Phaya-u, 56.
They were found in possession of 250,000 methamphetamine tablets and a pistol, deputy national police chief Chalermkiat Srivorakhan told the media.
Mr Akha is an ethnic hilltribe man and local politician who currently serves as a deputy chief of tambon Wiang Pa Pao administration organisation.
Prior to the arrests, police received information that the local politician had been operating a gang distributing drugs in Wiang Pa Pao district for some time, he said.
Mr Akha was arrested at a petrol station in Ban Mae Khachan in tambon Mae Chedi. Mr Suwichai and Mr Jamu were later detained outside the office of the tambon Wiang Pa Pao administration organisation.
Mr Janga was later detained outside a technical college in the district while he was waiting to deliver the seized methamphetamine tablets to a buyer, police said.
The four were all charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
In the second case, Pornsak Saesong, 42, and Chuan Saewa, 20 were detained and charged with possession of 48,000 methamphetamine tablets in Phetchabun’s Khao Kho district.
They were arrested while waiting to deliver the drugs to their customers, police said.
In the third operation, carried out in Wang Saphung district of the northeastern province of Loei, three suspects were detained and 204 kilogrammes of dry compressed marijuana was seized from them, police said.
The suspects were identified as Nirut Buathum, 30, Prachuap Buathum, 37, and Boonchuay Khiawphairi, 49. They were charged with possession of cannabis.
The first two suspects were arrested while travelling in two cars transporting the seized marijuana from Loei to Rayong, police said.
Mr Boonchuay was detained while driving alone in Phuluang district, after admitting that he was travelling ahead of the other two suspects to scout the route for trouble, police said.
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