Narcotic Suppression Bureau (NSB) police seized about 300 kilogrammes of ketamine in a raid on a warehouse in Nonthaburi and 200kg of heroin in a subsequent search of a rented house in Bangkok’s Huay Khwang district, in the small hours of Wednesday, deputy police chief Pol Gen Manu Mekmok said.
About 1am, police raided a warehouse in tambon Thawi Watthana in Sai Noy district, Nonthaburi.
They found and seized 39 sacks labelled flour, about 850kg in total. On close examination, a smaller bag of ketamine was found hidden in every sack of flour. About 300kg of ketamine was collected from the 39 sacks.
A woman was detained at the warehouse – Saowapa Nasalee, 29, from Udon Thani’s Wang Sam Mo district. She told police the ketamine was brought to the warehouse in boxes. It was the put in small bags which were then hidden in the sacks of flour, for onward delivery.
Pol Gen Manu said the sacks of flour with the ketamine inside were believed to be destined for Taiwan.
When Ms Saowapa was arrested, she had with her a mobile phone. Police checked the data and images stored in it. One photo was of a house, and the police suspected it might be used for drug storage.
They went to search the property, a two-storey rental house on 50 square wah of land on Pracharat Banphen road in Bangkok’s Huay Khwang district.
In a bedroom on the ground floor, police found 600 slabs of heroin in cardboard boxes, about 228kg in total.
According to Pol Gen Manu, Ms Saowapa said the house was rented in her name. The rent was paid by a man called “Top”, who brought the drug to the house. She was tasked with putting the drug into packages.
She said Top came to the house three days previously, but she did not know where to find him.
Pol Gen Manu said the raid on the Nonthaburi warehouse was a result of cooperation between the NSB and the Central Investigation Bureau of Taiwan.
He said an investigation was underway into whether the ketamine found in Nonthaburi was linked to the warehouse in Bang Pakong district, Chachoengsao, which NSB police raided on Nov 12. They seized sacks containing tonnes of a powdered substance initially thought to be ketamine. It was hailed as Thailand biggest bust.
To the embarassment of all involved, it later turned out to be 12 tonnes of trisodium phosphate, a chemical used as a food additive and cleaning agent. There were also sacks containing 301kg of powdered chalk, said to contain 1.2gm of ketamine.