Phuket NEWS: Phuket safety police blitz nets 8 drug, 3 gun arrestsPhuket NEWS:

Phuket safety police blitz nets 8 drug, 3 gun arrests in first week

Phuket Gazette - Friday, January 18, 2013 559 PM

Several of the suspects arrested in the Phuket 'safety blitz' were presented to the press, with drugs and firearms seized also on display. Photo: Kritsada Mueanhawong

PHUKET: The first seven days of the month-long police safety boost (story here) in Phuket has yielded eight arrests on gun and drug charges in road checkpoint stops alone.

Maj Gen Kittisan Detsunthonwat, Deputy Commander of Provincial Police Region 8, announced yesterday that so far his officers had seized over 300 grams of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine), 2,031 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine), more than a kilogram of marijuana and three guns.

Maj Gen Kittisan believes the arrests may lead to information about drug networks in other provinces and money laundering.

Two of the busts were in Thalang, one in Wichit and two in Phuket Town.

The first arrests occurred on Tuesday, when Thalang police arrested Suriya Panthip with 580mg of ya ice and 107 ya bah pills. He was charged with possession of a Category 1 narcotic with intent to sell. Kantapol Wijitkul, found with a 9mm gun, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

On Wednesday, arrests were made in Thalang, Phuket Town and Wichit.

Thalang Police made three drug arrests, taking in 288.54 grams of ya ice, 1,850 ya bah pills and 1,091 grams of marijuana. Those arrested were named as Teerasak Changlek, Attanai Nilsamut and a 13-year-old youth named only as “Mr A”.

The three were charged with possession of Category 1 (methamphetamine) and Category 5 (marijuana) narcotics with intent to sell.

In Phuket Town, police made two arrests involving guns and drugs – Thawat Sakonnathawutm was found with a .38-caliber gun and charged with illegal possession of a firearm; Sonthaya Limpanaanant, found with 630mg marijuana, a homemade gun, two 9mm bullets and one .38mm bullet, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a Category 5 narcotic.

Wichit Police arrested Chusak Aoin with 29.49 grams of ya ice, 74 pills of ya bah. He was charged with possession of a Category 1 narcotic with intent to sell.

All suspects were being detained at Phuket Provincial Court, Gen Kittisan said.

The campaign, which continues until February 7, aims to reduce criminal activity in the popular tourist areas of Phuket, Pattaya and Samui.

“A total of 163 police officers from Region 8 – which includes Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Sri Thammarat –have received special training for the campaign,” Gen Kittisan explained.

On Wednesday night, local Civil Defense Volunteers also uncovered drugs in a raid on dormitories on Soi Patchani in Bang Chee Lao, north of Phuket Town, where they found 13 men in possession of marijuana and “4x100” cocktails – a drink made from kratom, a mild narcotic.

All 13 suspects were handed over to Phuket City Police.