Alleged major drug trader nabbed in Nonthaburi

Jirat Pensophonwitch, aka Ek Ouan, (blue shirt) is taken from his house after being arrested on Tuesday morning. (Photo supplied by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau)

The suspected mastermind of a drug trading ring using throwaway phone numbers supplied by people from neighbouring countries was arrested in Nonthaburi province on Tuesday morning.

Jirat Pensophonwitch, aka Ek Ouan, was captured at his house at Casa Ville Ratchapreuk - Chaeng Watthana in Nonthaburi province around 6am.

The man was sleeping on the second floor of the 80-square-wah stand-alone house, Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) commander Sommai Kongwisaisook, who led the raid, said. 

His safe on the second floor contained 2 million baht in cash and a bank book in the name of Surachet Hoten showing cash flows of around 60 million baht. Two cars found on the property were also seized.

Pol Lt Gen Somai said Mr Surachet is registered as earning a living driving a motorcycle taxi.

His arrest followed the expansion of the investigation after the arrest of members of a drug gang in possession of 1 million methamphetamine pills and 400 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine in 2016.

The NSB had learned Mr Jirat was the mastermind of a drug trading network that used mobile phones registered by users from neighbouring countries. After each trade was complete, the SIM cards were discarded.

It was believed Mr Jirat ordered the drugs from the North of Thailand for delivery to provinces in the South,  as well as distributing the drugs in Greater Bangkok, the NSB chief said.

Mr Jirat has been charged with selling illicit drugs, but has denied any wrongdoing. 

Police also searched 43 other locations, 14 in Bangkok and the rest in various provinces.

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