Largest Drugs Ring in Eastern Thailand Busted – Police Seize Cash, Drugs & Exotic Cats

Chinnaphat Sarasin

Officials have cracked down on what is believed to be the largest narcotics ring in the eastern region and confiscated 120 million baht in cash and assets, believed to be used in money laundering, Pol Lt Gen Chinnaphat Sarasin, assistant national police chief, said yesterday.

He said the anti-drug operation against the eastern network started earlier this year and has so far led to the arrest of seven suspects and the confiscation of cash, gold bars, assets and property worth 120 million baht.

About 220,000 ya ba pills were also confiscated along with other drugs like ketamine and ecstasy, Pol Lt Gen Sarasin said.

The operation was set up after investigators from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau discovered the network had accumulated property after growing wealthy, he said.

Sorakrit Sonsiri, or Kuk Rayong, of Rayong province, became the primary suspect in the case. He allegedly crossed the natural border to deal with dealers in a neighbouring country.

Mr Sonsiri is now in jail pending a trial following his arrest in January. Police officials are said to be arresting suspected members of his gang and impounding cash and assets which include sports cars, houses, condos and brand name accessories.

On Sunday, police arrested another alleged accomplice who hid in a large house in Klaeng district. Police reportedly impounded two houses, one condominium, two cars and two motorcycles.

The suspect was identified by police as Tadthet “Nook” Aroon.

He reportedly confessed he worked with the gang for over a year and was tasked with making cash transactions at ATMs.

Mr Aroon reportedly received 1,000-2,000 baht per transaction.

Among the most expensive assets confiscated were expensive felines.

Pol Gen Manoo Mekmok, deputy national police chief, said that the cats cost between 10,000 and 100,000 baht each.

“These six cats gathered a lot of media attention and we need to auction them off so they will find owners who will take care of them.”

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