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Thai Chemical engineer accused of making ecstasy

Chemical engineer suspected of producing ecstasy pills has been arrested during a raid in Bang Kruai district of Nonthaburi.

Pathiwet Suwankhiri, 42, was apprehended at his room on the third floor of a building at the Phra Ngoen Eua-Arthon housing estate in tambon Plai Bang on Saturday morning.

Seized were equipment used for producing ecstasy, precursor chemicals, a digital scale, 20,000 ecstasy pills and 50 grammes of crystal methamphetamine.

Pol Gen Manoon Mekmok, deputy national police chief, said the arrest followed a police investigation into a drug gang that was selling locally made ecstasy pills to patrons of entertainment venues in Bangkok.

Police subsequently arrested Prayoon Thaphinna while he was about to deliver drugs to customers two days ago, said Pol Maj Gen Manoon.

During questioning, Mr Prayoon implicated Mr Pathiwet, officers said.

Mr Pathiwet made conflicting statements during questioning. But he admitted to having produced ecstasy pills by using his knowledge in the field of chemical engineering, said Pol Maj Gen Manoon.

The suspect claimed he had purchased chemicals online for producing the drugs, but investigators were not convinced as some of the precursor chemicals are banned and would have had to be imported.

Authorities are expanding the investigation to find other suspects involved.


Chemical engineer Pathiwet Suwankhiri (right) is caught during a police raid that netted 20,000 ecstasy pills in Nonthaburi on Saturday. (Police photo)

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