In a 10-day operation in Chiang Rai, a combined task force of police and local administrative officers seized more than 361 million baht in assets.
The seizure was announced yesterday by Pol Lt Gen Prachuap Wongsuk, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, who gave details of the operation which began on 21st November.
One of the raided locations was linked to a drug network said to have been run by Wiwatchai Sirimirin, 36, who remains at large. Police began focusing on him after arresting Poramet Ruaysoongnoen on drug charges in November last year.
Poramet was arrested at a checkpoint in Lampang, with 2.8 million methamphetamine pills in his possession.
An expanded police investigation linked the pills to a drug ring allegedly run by Wiwatchai, so officers sought a court warrant for his arrest. Two suspects with ties to the ring, identified as Supot Riangthong and Thanakrit Kantrawirat, were arrested in January this year.
Arrest warrants have also been issued for three other suspects, Penporn Sirimirin, (Wiwatchai’s mother), Amornthep Rojanasirisanti and Thanakrit Makmeethanakunchorn, over their links to the drug trafficking ring.
The 10-day operation began with police searching a house linked to Wiwatchai in tambon Sansalee, Wiang Pa Pao district, where they seized two cars and a motorcycle, valued at about one million baht.
A total of 902 people were rounded up by authorities, and 108 items worth 361.1 million baht were seized for further examination, including titles to 37 plots of land, eight cars, five motorcycles and gold jewellery.
Authorities also seized large amounts of narcotics, including 737,006 “speed” pills, 82.5 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine and 1.4kg of dried marijuana.
The operation involved more than 200 officials from various agencies.
In Bangkok, anti-narcotics officials and police yesterday raided four houses linked to Ms Sirimirin and seized assets worth about 20 million baht for examination.
Wichai Chaimongkol, secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board, said the confiscated assets would be examined to determine if they were linked to criminal activities.
A seized truck was found to belong to Ms Sirimirin, so officials searched her houses in Bangkok’s Don Muang district but she was out at the time.