BANGKOK: Thai police uncovered a “Malaysian Connection” when they derailed a major drug syndicate with the arrest of 21 Malaysians, mostly at four train stations in southern Thailand.
They seized 226kg of the synthetic drug, ice (methamphetamine), and heroin weighing 8kg, described by the police as the largest drug haul since the beginning of a police operation to stem drug smuggling via railways, about six months ago.
Commissioner of Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau, Police Lt-Gen Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak said 15 of the Malaysians were arrested at four train stations on Tuesday.
“They were detained at the Ratchaburi, Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikan and Surat Thani train stations on a Hualampong-Butterworth train, along with the drugs en route to the Malaysian border,” he told reporters here yesterday.
The police also paraded the 15 Malaysians who allegedly concealed the drugs in instant coffee and biscuit packages at the press conference.
In a follow-up operation, the police arrested six more Malaysians travelling in a passenger van in Hatyai. One of them is suspected to be linked to the syndicate.
“Based on his travel information, he is suspected to be linked to the syndicate,” said Lt-Gen Thitiraj.
He said 15 of the Malaysians had arrived in Thailand on March 14, before going up north to Chiang Mai to pick up the drugs and had taken the Hualampong-Butterworth train to Malaysia.
“They were very calm when the police approached them but gave the excuse of not being able to speak English and declined to answer any of our questions.
“Nevertheless, we had the evidence,” he said. — Bernama
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