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Smuggling 500m baht drug money to Myanmar

A man has been arrested and charged with smuggling more than 500 million baht in drug money from Thailand to Myanmar using a courier service over the past year.

Withaya sae Ma, 24, was apprehended at his house in Moo 6 village of tambon Mae Sai in Mae Sai district on Friday morning.

Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sa-nguanphokhai, commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said the suspect was part owner of a courier service that was allegedly used to smuggle cash acquired through drug sales to producers in Myanmar.

The courier service charged 3,000 baht for every million baht smuggled to Myanmar.

Over the past year, the more than 500 million baht in cash had been taken out of the country this way, the commissioner said.

The arrest came from following up on information from four suspects caught in Muang district of Chiang Rai with 1.2 million methamphetamine pills on Dec 10 last year.

Mr Withaya was one of 18 drug-related suspects arrested in multiple raids in 12 provinces on Friday morning.

In the raids, police seized 17 million meth pills, 585 kilogrammes of marijuana, 9.6kg of heroin and 24kg of opium, and impounded assets worth about 200 million baht suspected of being acquired with drug-related money, Pol Lt Gen Sarayut said.

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