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Drug-gang leader arrested, assets seized

A woman who is the alleged leader of a major drug network and her drug felon boyfriend were arrested and assets worth more than 100 million baht seized from her in Nonthaburi on Friday.

Officers from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Provincial Police Region 1 and a military intelligence unit, raided 10 locations on Friday – three  in Bangkok, five in Nonthaburi and two in Saraburi.

It was part of a police operation against a major drug gang known as  “SN77’’ ordered by Pol Gen Roy Inkhapairoj, a deputy national police chief.

Pol Gen Roy said the primary focus was a house at Laddarom housing estate in Pak Kred district of Nonthaburi province.

There, they arrested Saranya Faknuam, 35, the alleged leader of SN77, and seized assets, including   luxury cars and watches, worth more than 100 million baht.

The seizures included a Porsche GT2 RS worth 30 million baht, a Lamborghini worth 30 million baht, a Nissan Skyline R32 worth 7 million baht, a Toyaota Alphard van worth 3 million baht, a Mazda RX7 URUS worth 2 million baht and a Honda Jazz car worth 300,000 baht, a 20-million-baht Richard Mille watch, a Patek Philippe watch worth 4.5 million baht, said Pol Gen Roy. They also seized a 9mm pistol and three magazines found on the premises.

Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sa-nguanpokthai, chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said the operation  stemmed from the arrest by NSB officers and Bangkok police of two drug suspects with 5 million speed pills and 120 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine on Dec 13, 2017.

Investigators extended the investigation and found evidence that Ms Saranya was the leader of the SN77 drug gang

The woman was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court for collusion in offences involving illicit drugs and having category 1 drugs (methamphetamine and crystal meth) in possession with intent to sell, Pol Lt Gen Sarayut said.     

On Friday, officers also arrested Chokphiphat Chanwichian, 35, Ms Saranya’s boyfriend. He was pulled up on Boromratchonnaree expressway in Taling Chan district, Bangkok.

Mr Chokphiphat was charged with aiding and abbeting another person in the commission of offences, Pol Lt Gen Sarayut said. 

According to the NSB chief, Ms Saranya, as leader of SN77,  had links with networks based in a neighbouring country that supplied her gang with large quantities of drugs. 

Mr Chokphiphat was released from prison last year after serving a sentence for drug offences. His job was allegedly to contact local drug networks and deliver drugs to agents in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

The pair had allegedly laundered money from the drug trade by buying luxury cars, amulets and luxury watches.

A police source said NSB police also arrested two suspects in another drug case and seized from them 700,000 methamphetamine pills and a pickup truck in Mukdahan province.

Sirichai Khongnam, 31, and Komen Srisakham, 24, were apprehended at a petrol station in Muang district in a police sting set up by an undercover agent.

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