10 from three southern drug gangs caught

The seizure of narcotics from three major drug gang in Phatthalung and Narathiwat and the arrest of 10 suspects are announced during a media briefing at Sena Narong camp in Hat Yai, Songkhla, on Thursday. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

Ten members of three major drug gangs in Phatthalung and Narathiwat provinces have been arrested separately, with speed pills and heroin worth a combined 200 million baht seized.

The arrests were announced during a media briefing at Sena Narong military camp in Hat Yai district, Songkhla province, on Thursday. Lt Gen Pornsak Poonsawat, commander of the Fourth Army Region, Pol Lt Gen Ronnasil Phusara, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 9 and Phatthalung governor Kukiart Wongkraphan were present.

The raids involving soldiers, police, drug suppression officers and local officials were launched on targeted venues of network members of the three drug gangs — two in Phatthalung and the other in Narathiwat — between May 7 and May 14.

In the first operation, seven members of the Phatthalung drug gang, including gang leader Phichet Suriyan, were caught separately in this southern province. Another was caught in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district. About 1.7 million speed pills in total were seized from Mr Phichet’s gang, said police.

In another raid, authorities arrested a member of another drug gang in Phatthalung’s Sri Nakharin district and seized 160,000 speed pills from him. The suspect was identified as Kittisak Phoncharoen.

Another team of officers arrested two members of another drug gang in Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat and seized 7.6kg of heroin, two cars and four motorcycles from them. The suspects were identified as Thawin Madeeyor and Ms Faras Salae.

The pair got involved in the transnational drug trade by selling narcotics to Malaysian clients, said police.

The drugs seized from the three major gang had a combined value of about 200 million baht.

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