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Surat Thani authorities display illicit drugs seized from eight suspected dealers at a news briefing at provincial police headquarters on Friday. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: Authorities have frozen 101 million baht in assets of eight arrested suspects believed to be part of a major ring supplying drugs to southern tourist destinations.

The case began with the arrest of Prajak Thaichana and Kachornyot Tanawanitnam at a ferry pier in Don Sak district on Thursday, Pol Maj Gen Apichart Boonsriroj, commander of Surat Thani police, told a news conference on Friday.

Police seized 1.1 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine or “ice” from the pair, who were heading for the tourist island of Koh Samui.

Pol Maj Gen Apichart said the two men told officers that a man named Seri ordered them to take delivery of the drugs from Warakorn Heet-aksorn, 32, in Phunphin district.

Police then arrested Mr Warakorn and two other suspects, Noparat Deediao and Chutima Patarasrichana, and seized 7kg of “ice”, 360,000 methamphetamine pills and 40 M16 bullets.

Two more alleged associates, Wilasinee Saeng-arun and Petcharat Duangpakdi, were then caught and 5.5kg of “ice” seized. Finally, officers arrested Withaya Thongmak when he showed up on Koh Samui, allegedly to take delivery from the first two men arrested.

Pol Maj Gen Apichart said police froze 101 million baht worth of the suspects’ assets including cash, guns, gold bars, two coaches, six cars, four motorcycles, a house and other assets worth about 10 million baht inside it.

Those arrested suspects were said to be associates of Mr Seri, who had been released from a prison in Ratchaburi a year ago after serving a drug sentence, he said.

Police believe Mr Seri played an important role in supplying illicit drugs to tourist destinations in the South. He remains at large.

Officials gather drugs at a house they searched in Surat Thani on Thursday. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

News Reporter

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