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Thai student looking at 15 years jail time

Thai student looking at 15 years jail time

A young Thai “entrepreneur” may find himself looking at 15 years jail time after he was arrested suspected of selling poppy seeds online.

City police have detained a 20-year-old university student for allegedly selling foreign breeds of poppy seeds as well as soil, fertiliser, light and growing manuals to buyers via Facebook.

Police said they would continue to investigate all of the students’ customers.

The student was arrested on Sunday in Bang Kae district with 235 poppy seeds, planting equipment contained in five boxes and more poppy seeds in 22 envelopes bearing the names and addresses of customers ready to be posted.

Police charged the student, whose name was not revealed, with importing or exporting illicit drugs and possessing drugs with the intent to sell. Poppy seeds contain varying amounts of opiates depending on the breed.

Deputy city commissioner Pol Maj-General Ruechakorn Jornjewut said the arrest was made after police found that the suspect had sold the seeds as well as soil and fertiliser via a Facebook page.

The student allegedly wrote reviews about the qualifications of each breed of seeds, some of which quoted from foreign websites.

He also explained procedures of how to plant the seeds, the proper ratio of fertiliser and soil, how to control the lights and duration before the poppy was ripe, and how to dry the produce in the sun.

The student also gave private consultations to his buyers, Ruechakorn said. There were about 15,000 people that he had sent items to by mail.

Learning about the sales, police set up a purchase and tested the seeds to prove their authenticity. When the seeds were proved to be real poppy seeds, a police investigation led to the arrest.

According to Ruechakorn, the student confessed to the charge, saying that he offered more than 800 breeds of poppy seeds to clients. He ordered the seeds from a foreign website that sent seeds to his house by mail.

The deputy commissioner said that police would extend the investigation to all of the student’s customers. The punishment for importing a drug is a maximum jail term of 15 years.

Source: The Nation

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