Truckie busted with B300m in drugs

A truck driver was arrested with 37 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or "ya ice", and 23 kilogrammes of heroin, worth about 300 million baht in Phitsanulok province on his way to Ayutthaya, police said.

Pol Lt Gen Worasak Nopsitthiporn, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 6, told a press conference on Friday that Jan Saengbangsai, the 32-year-old driver, was arrested at a checkpoint on Phitsanulok-Lom Sak Road in front of the Wang Thong district office about 1am on Thursday. Police found the drugs  hidden inside the driver's compartment of his 22-wheel truck, which was carrying vegetables.

Police had learned that a shipment of drugs was planned from Chiang Rai province through Phitsanulok to Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya province, so they set up the checkpoint that resulted in the arrest.

The "ice" was hidden in packs of tea  and the heroin was stuffed inside wax-coated packs. Mr Jan, a Wang Thong native, hid the packs behind his driver's seat.

The man said he had been hired for 700,000 baht to transport the illicit drugs and had already received  50,000 baht before the trip.

He said he  received the drugs from Sophon Iamsakul, 33, and his wife Khajee Athornthamrong in Chiang Rai and had been told to deliver them to a woman identified only as Jeh Da in Ayutthaya province.

In Bangkok about 1,000 police, soldiers and anti-narcotics officials raided 147 communities in 44 districts on Friday. They arrested 87 drug addicts and 30 drug traffickers and seized from them three kilogrammes of marijuana, one kilogramme of cocaine and 60,000 speed pills.

Permpong Chavalit, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, said such raids would continue weekly in the capital as part of serious efforsts to suppress illicit drugs. Decisions on the targets of the raids were assisted by information from people who phoned the hotline number 1386.

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