Woman and accomplice arrested in Thailand over 'drug money'

Woman and accomplice arrested in Thailand over 'drug money'
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A woman and her alleged accomplice were arrested on suspicion of transferring money for a drug syndicate based in Min Buri.

Police also yesterday reported six major drug busts due to the government's decision to raid 38 targets and examine 46 checkpoints across the country.

Pol Maj General Sompong Chingduang Sompong, deputy Narcotics Suppression commissioner, said police, acting on clues from an earlier arrest, made morning raids on a house in Bang Khuntien district belonging to Sarocha Ruang-urai and a house in Bang Khae district owned by Phitat |Tham-in.

In January, drug baron Arthit Ratianan was captured and 1.7 million amphetamine pills, 36 kilograms of methamphetamine and two cars were seized.

Police checked Arthit's five bank accounts and found that more than Bt800 million had been transferred through Sarocha to Morn Phetthun, a drug dealer in Laos who has already been apprehended.

Phitat had allegedly helped Sarocha transfer funds to the other accounts.

'Bt30m transfers every month'

Police confiscated Bt2 million (S$79,123), a land deed, a car and a condominium in Sathorn district from Sarocha and a motorcycle, laptop computer, watch, mobile phone and bank accounts from Phitat.

Phitat said he met Sarocha through his girlfriend and Sarocha convinced him to open a bank account, for which he was paid Bt1,000-Bt2,000 a day.

He said Bt30 million was transferred into the account every month and about Bt1 million-Bt2 million was |transferred out each time.

On the other six cases, Sompong said agents from Narcotics Suppression Police, the Narcotics Control Board and the Anti-Money Laundering Office nabbed nine suspects on drug dealing charges nationwide and impounded 192,070 amphetamine pills, 15.1 kilograms of methamphetamine and Bt100 million worth of properties.

This was the first crackdown on drug trafficking networks under the policy, he said.

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