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Anti-drugs chief apologises for selling car with ya ba inside

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has apologised to the winner of a car that the agency auctioned off after almost a hundred thousand speed pills were found in its rear bumper.

Secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk said on Saturday that the NCB’s Region 5 office, which has jurisdiction in the North, was informed by the new owner that 94,000 ya ba pills had been found in the white Honda CR-V.

The buyer, who paid 586,000 baht for the car, had sent it to a garage in San Sai district in Chiang Mai to have its rear fixed and repainted since there were scratches and dents on it.

As a garage employee was removing parts on Thursday, he found the pills hidden in the bumper, which had been modified as a secret compartment.

Mr Niyom on Saturday apologised and thanked the buyer and garage employee for informing officials immediately.

At the time, police found 100,000 pills in bags lying in plain view on the back seat of the car.

The vehicle was seized in mid-August of the same year. NCB officials took delivery of the car in early October and it was put on the block on Jan 15 this year.

“According to protocols, we search every vehicle we have received and this case was no exception. However, we couldn’t find anything at the time, perhaps because the pills had been well hidden,” he said.

Mr Niyom added that the case served as a lesson for ONCB officials who were advised to be more thorough with searches. The additional pills will be added to the case, he said.

The new owner and the garage employee who found them will also be rewarded as the information they had given was a tip-off according to ONCB regulations.

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