A Malaysian fugitive wanted in Thailand for drug smuggling was arrested during a Thai-Lao joint operation last week.
The 39-year-old Malaysian, an alleged drug dealer and key member of a drug syndicate had been in hiding in Laos, according to Thai police.
Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Panurat Lakboon said the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has been investigating the Malaysian man, a suspected drug trafficker who played a key role as procurer and coordinator in the drug trade in the Golden Triangle area since 2006.
He said the man was arrested in Laos on Dec 29.
“The suspect has been working with drug networks across Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Laos. He also used Thailand for both money laundering and as a transit point for smuggling drugs, including to third countries like Malaysia, Taiwan, and Australia.
“The arrest is a result of the continuous investigation and close coordination between the Thai, Malaysian, and Laotian enforcement agencies,” he said in a statement.
Panurat added that investigators identified the man as the main suspect behind a major drug bust in June last year – the seizure of 998 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine and the arrest of seven suspects in Ratchaburi province. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued for him in August of the same year.
Later, Thai authorities seized the Malaysian man’s extensive assets, including a land plot with a building, two condominiums, three yachts, two cars, three motorbikes, firearms, cash, and other valuables, spread across Bangkok, Trat, Chiang Rai, and Chon Buri.
The total estimated value of the seized assets is 85 million baht. — Bernama