Wealthy entrepreneur arrested over 'deadly' weight-loss remedies

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The wealthy operator of a business selling weight-loss products was arrested on Monday morning as part of an extensive police operation and charged with possession of controlled substances.

Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers raided 33 locations across the country in what was dubbed Operation "Sayob Pairee 62/9: Yasuay Sanghan".

The name translates as "Subduing the enemy" and "deadly beauty medicine". Of the 13 targeted locations in Bangkok, one was the luxurious home of Wirairat Udthong on Soi Pattanakan 42 in Suan Luang district.

Wirairat was charged with possessing with intent to sell Phentermine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Diazepam and Clorazepate, which are controlled under Schedule IV.

Police said she owns assets worth up to 50 million baht (S$2 million) and a beauty-product business with up to 100 million baht worth of items in circulation, some of which allegedly contain the controlled substances.

A court issued a warrant for Wirairat's arrest in February. Police accuse her of paying a clinic doctor 50,000-70,000 baht to legally order the substances through the Food and Drug Administration Office and give her a portion to distribute to customers, several of whom allegedly died after consuming them.

The investigation stemmed from a complaint filed by a former magazine model who had used the products.