The Royal Thai Police has ordered Khon Kaen provincial police to check the finances of one of the three bar girls involved in the murder and dismemberment of the body of another bar girl to see if she was engaged in drug trafficking.
Suspected to have link to narcotics trade is Ms Kavita Rachada or Earn.
The order was given by the deputy commissioner Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakan following the discovery of out-of-ordinary cash flows in and out of Earn's bank accounts.
Earn is among three bar girls arrested by Myanmar police and handed over to Thai police in Chiang Rai province.
Two other girls are Ms Preeyanut Nonwangchai or Priew, and Ms Apiwan Satayabundit or Jae.
The three girls were accused of cooperating with two others, now detained, in murdering Ms Warisara Klinjui, or Nong Am, and chopped her bodies in pieces and buried her in a secluded roadside bushes in Khao Suan Kwang district of Khon Kaen province on May 23.
According to the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, Earn's bank accounts show extraordinary cash flows averaging 1 million baht and in some months as much as 2 million baht.
This unusual cash flow indicated that she might either engage in drug or contraband smuggling, he said.
Earlier the Royal Thai Police and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board gave conflicting information on the involvement in drugs of the three girls.
ONCB secretary general Sirinya Sithichai said confidential probe showed one suspect Priew was engaged in international drug trafficking ring.
Although there is no strong evidence, officials are conducting confidential probe into her money trail.
Meanwhile the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has also been asked to carry out a background check back to 2014 to uncover any possible links to narcotics or contraband.
In another related development in the case, a public outcry resulting from impropriety of Chiang Rai immigration officials taking selfies with Priew and were posted on the social media. the superintendent of the 5th Region Immigration Police has ordered that the two officials be removed from their current postings and report for duty at the 5th Region immigration Police headquarters pending an investigation into their conduct.
As a result of the controversy, the three girls have been ordered to be sent to the Khon Kaen Central Corrections facility to be held to await trial.
So far none of their relatives has come forward to post bail.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)