BANGKOK, Thailand Two Malaysian men have been arrested as Thai Police expanded their investigation into the discovery of 700 kilograms of "Ice" (Crystal Methaphetamine) from a lorry transporting pineapples and watermelons in Chumphon, southern Thailand yesterday.
Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) chief Lt Gen SommaiKongvisaisuk said, the two Malaysian men aged 49 and 34, and alleged to be members of a transnational drug syndicates, were picked up at a house in the southern border town of Hatyai about 6.30 pm (local time) yesterday.
"The two Malaysian men were arrested as they unloaded the drugs from the lorry to a house in Hatyai," he told Bernama here, today adding that, the police also arrested a 45-year-old Thai man whom they suspected to be the syndicate's local accomplice.
He said, the Malaysians travelled to Hatyai to pick up the drugs before trying to smuggle them across the border into Malaysia.
Efforts to track down other members of the transnational drug syndicate began after the authorities stopped the lorry at a security checkpoint in Chumphon at about 1.30 am (local time yesterday) and discovered the drugs hidden among the fruits.
Instead of confiscating and taking away the drugs, the authorities according to Sommai, allowed the driver of the drugs-laden lorry to continue his journey to Hatyai as scheduled, with undercover policemen trailing behind at a safe distance.
"They (the police) decide to let the driver continue his journey to his intended destination (Hatyai) as they wanted to nab other members of the syndicate," he said.
As the lorry arrived in Hatyai to unload its illegal cargo, the undercover policemen waited patiently before making their move in arresting the Malaysian and their Thai accomplices.
The police finally apprehended the two Malaysian men as they were busily unloading the drugs into the house, said the NSB chief adding that, the seizure of 700 kg of "Ice" was among the agency's biggest success this year.
He also said, the syndicate planned to smuggle the drugs to Malaysia through Sadao and has informed their Malaysian counterpart about the arrest of two Malaysian men in Hatyai yesterday.
"We have contacted our Malaysian counterpart," he said.
Sommai said, the Thai man whom the authorities believed was the syndicate's local link tried to escape in his pick-up truck when the police moved in to arrest him but failed.
The authorities also seized several Thai-registered vehicles used by the men, he said. The Malaysian men, their Thai accomplice and the lorry driver remained under police's custody for further questioning.
Source: NAM News Network