Alleged Lao drug lord's Facebook account depicts luxury lifestyle

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

THE FACEBOOK account of Xaysana Keopimpha, an alleged drug warlord who was arrested in Bangkok last month, shows only sporadic activity, with his latest post being an update of his profile photo on December 19.

However, the few photos that he has posted on Facebook would raise eyebrows, including selfies taken with luxury cars such as Lamborghinis and Mercedes-Benzes, which appear to have been taken at his house in Laos.

Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network

In other photos, he is shown with people surrounded by more luxury vehicles, including one in which he is sitting on one of the cars wearing a sleeveless T-shirt showing tattoos on both arms.

Xaysana was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in front of many travellers on January 19 after police were tipped off that he and three other people were flying in from Phuket.

Police said the arrest was the culmination of a five-year investigation into a drug network allegedly operated by Xaysana, which police said distributed drugs in northeastern Thailand, Laos and other ASEAN countries including Malaysia and Singapore.

The network is believed to be bigger than that allegedly operated by Laota Sanli, who was arrested in October and is accused of also distributing drugs in northern Thailand.

Suspected drug lord linked to Thailand and Laos celebrities

  • Xaysana Keopimpha, an alleged drug warlord from Laos was arrested in Bangkok on January 19 after police were tipped off that he and three other people were flying in from Phuket.
  • According to Thai police, his network has cultivated unprecedented connections, with celebrities both in Thailand and Laos believed to have assisted him with money laundering and asset concealment.
  • “He had portrayed himself as a rich man from Laos. When he came here, he threw parties inviting entertainment figures and celebrities from many other fields of Thailand as guests. After the ties developed, he used them for money laundering,” said police.
  • His Facebook account shows only sporadic activity, with his latest post being an update of his profile photo on December 19.
  • But a few photos show selfies taken with luxury cars such as Lamborghinis and Mercedes-Benzes, which appear to have been taken at his house in Laos.
  • Xaysana, known in Laos as Hia Lop, was born in Khammouane province of Laos, opposite Nakhon Phanom’s Ta Uten district in Thailand.
  • Social network users have been accustomed to seeing photos of Xaysana posing with the country’s celebrities and young family members of politicians.
  • Famous Thai bike racer “Benz Racing”, who is married to a well-known actress, is the first celebrity to be exposed as an alleged accomplice in Xaysana’s network in Thailand.
  • Akarakit Worarojcharoendet, who is better known as “Benz Racing”, is married to Thai actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul, who is pregnant.
  • Police suspect that several celebrities in Thailand might have assisted Xaysana with money laundering and asset concealment.
  • Napapa’s elder brother, Anucha Tankrakul, said yesterday that Akarakit had talked to him over the phone and denied any involvement in the drug trade.
  • Akarakit Worarojcharoendet reported himself to police at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) at 3.30pm Friday. Accompanying him was his mother and a lawyer.

Xaysana, known in Laos as Hia Lop, was born in Khammouane province of Laos, opposite Nakhon Phanom's Ta Uten district in Thailand.

He moved to Vientiane and ran a sawmill factory that reportedly earned him a lot of money, and he eventually established himself as a member of the "new rich" in Lao high society.

Social network users have been accustomed to seeing photos of Xaysana posing with the country's celebrities and young family members of politicians.

He was also a familiar face in Thailand because he helped to organise Thailand-Laos joint events.

In Vientiane, he was also a frequent visitor to cock-fighting gambling dens and owned his own stable of fighting roosters.

A source said the wide-ranging drug network Xaysana allegedly operated was protected by influential police and politicians, enabling him to run a lucrative business for years.

Pol Lt-General Sommai Kongwisaisuk, the commissioner of Thailand's anti-drugs agency, said Xaysana had contacted distributors via the chat app Line, using codes to prevent the messages from being intercepted.

Xaysana allegedly used his luxury cars to smuggle drugs, which reportedly deterred police from conducting thorough searches.

Read also: Thai celebrity first to be linked to suspected Laos drug kingpin

Suspected drug lord linked to Thailand and Laos celebrities

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