Korat expat in B30mn coke bust at Phuket Airport

What's happening in and around Nakhon Ratchasima? Koratlocal and Korat provincial affairs.
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Korat expat in B30mn coke bust at Phuket Airport

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Mi Mai 11, 2011 10:30 pm

B30mn coke bust at Phuket Airport

PHUKET: Six kilograms of cocaine were seized by officers in two separate airport arrests this week. The suspects, a Swiss man and a Thai woman, face a maximum penalty of death under Thai law for smuggling of Category 2 narcotics.

Swiss national Peter B., 47, was arrested on Monday with possession and intent to smuggle 4 kg of cocaine at Phuket International Airport. To avoid detection, the contraband was in the form of black strips known as "black cocaine", an intentionally adulterated form used to evade detection. It is then purified after it reaches its intended destination.

In the second bust, which occurred about 11pm Tuesday night, Sa Kaeo resident Pimpisa “Ja” Piangyotha, 39, was nabbed by officers with two kilos of pure cocaine in her luggage when she arrived for a Bangkok-bound flight.

Lt Col Prawit Engchuan of Phuket City Police said officers were tipped off by an unnamed informant that a large drug shipment from South America was expected to move through the airport.

Phuket City Police then coordinated with airport immigration, customs officers, and Thachatchai Police, all of whom were ordered on high alert, he said.

At this morning's press conference at Phuket City Police Station, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong said investigators believed both suspects were part of the same network.

B. and Pimpisa denied this, saying they had never met before.

B. also told the Phuket Gazette he didn't know that the black material he was carrying was cocaine until the police told him.

About 4pm on Monday, B. arrived at Phuket Airport. After passing through immigration and collecting his luggage at a baggage carousel, he proceeded to Customs clearance, police said.

When Customs officers examined his luggage with a scanning device, they became suspicious. After a thorough inspection of the bag, officers discovered two black sheets, each weighing 2 kilograms, concealed inside the luggage lining. It was later determined to be "black cocaine".

Miss Pimpisa also said she was unaware of the drugs found in her possession, claiming that a man in Brazil had placed the drugs into her luggage without her knowledge.

The unnamed man was a friend of a black foreign man in Bangkok named “Mike,” with whom she had been acquainted for about six months but had little contact with over that period.

Despite this, Mike had sponsored her with a two-week "holiday" to Brazil, covering all of her expenses and giving her US$2,000 in cash, she said.

On the day of her return, Mike's Brazilian friend placed a bag into her luggage, saying it was to be delivered to Mike.

Officers said the drugs in the two busts have a combined wholesale value of 18 million baht in Thailand.

The street value could run as high as 30 million baht, they added.

During the ensuing investigation, B. told police he had been living in Thailand for 4 or 5 years.

He had been supporting a Thai wife in Nakhon Ratchasima on a government disability pension he received from a carpentry accident, he said.

When the Swiss government canceled his pension 3 months ago, he became desperate for funds to cover overhead costs of his wife's restaurant there.

He admitted he was hired by a man of African decent in Bangkok who agreed to pay him 200,000 baht (US$6,000) to bring a piece of luggage to Thailand from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where he claims the deal took place.

B. told the Gazette that he was advised to fly from Santa Cruz to the Bolivian capital of La Paz, then to Phuket via Sao Paolo, Dubai and Kuala Lampur.

He had yet to be contacted by Swiss Embassy officials, he added.

He will be held at Thachatchai Police Station while the legal case against him is processed, police said.

Phuket Gazette

Sally.J
Korat-Isaan-Forum-Gast

new...

Ungelesener Beitragvon Sally.J » Mi Mai 11, 2011 11:46 pm

i just can say that this is new for me, so thanks...
bye,

sally

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Re: Korat expat in B30mn coke bust at Phuket Airport

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Do Mai 12, 2011 10:33 pm

My Phuket Drugs Hell: Confessions of an Expat Cocaine Courier

THE HURT of being the wife of an international drugs courier is being to show. For Amornrat B., wife of Swiss national and drugs ''mule'' Peter B., the best years of their marriage are probably gone forever.

The hurt for Peter B.'s parents, who visited Thailand earlier this year to support the couple's plan to open a restaurant, can only be imagined.

Khun Amornrat, who is travelling to Phuket by bus tonight, told Phuketwan today that she had no idea her husband of six years was planning a trip to South America to become a cocaine courier.

''He told me he was going to Hua Hin for a couple of weeks, to help a friend,'' she said today from the central province of Korat, as she packed to board the bus to Phuket to be as close as possible to her husband.

She said that money had become their biggest problem since the Swiss government cut off his disability pension.

Before that, the couple could count on as much as 50,000 bah a month to see them through, and to plan for the future.

Having left the resort town of Hua Hin because it was growing too expensive, the couple headed back to Korat and the village that Khun Amornrat came from. They had outfitted a restaurant, ready to open.

But the money was running out.

And there were moments this week when Peter B., novice cocaine courier, twice had one last chance.

He told Phuketwan yesterday that a second chance came when he arrived at Phuket International Airport on Monday, carrying in his baggage four kilos of cocaine that he knew could get him the death penalty in Thailand.

''I was scared,'' he said. ''I was twice close to leaving the bag in a toilet, once in Brazil and when I arrived on Phuket.

''I wish I had the choice again.''

By the time officers at the airport began to question him, having been tipped off that he was arriving, it was too late.

Now he faces a possible death penalty. ''I am scared about that,'' he said.

The following day, Tuesday, a Thai woman was arrested at Phuket International Airport carrying two kilos of cocaine. She claimed she did not know what she was carrying.

Peter B. knew what he was doing. The contact for the courier run came via an old acquaintance in Bangkok's notorious Nana district.

''I have been here in Thailand for 13 years,'' he said. ''After my accident, I moved here. I was married once, I gave my first wife the house we shared, then I met and married Amornrat.

''I hope she can visit me,'' he said.

Why did he do it?

''I needed the money so . . . . I was in Bolivia for two weeks. I don't use cocaine any more. It's about the money. Only about the money.''

Khun Amornrat told Phuketwan that the pension from the Swiss government allowed them to make ends meet, although her husband was an alcoholic with liver health issues.

Mr B. said that he had been injured in a fall in Switzerland as a carpenter years ago, leaving him with a disability pension.

''Now the government has no money for that,'' he said. ''Many people don't have this pension now. I am hoping a court decision will have it restored.''

Phuket Wan


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