Two Singaporean men arrested in Bangkok for drug and immigration offences
BANGKOK - Two Singaporean men were arrested in Thailand for alleged drug trafficking and possession, as well as other charges that include illegal entry into Thailand and illegal firearm possession.
The duo were arrested in Bangkok following police raids on Wednesday that targeted illegal nightlife operations in the capital’s entertainment districts.
A press release by the Royal Thai Police’s broadcast arm, Police TV, identified the two men as Ong Shao Xiong, 34, and Low Gin Ang, 53.
A search of their accommodation at a hotel in Bangkok’s Din Daeng district found an assortment of narcotics, including methamphetamine, Ecstasy pills, ketamine, cocaine, and “happy water” - a powered or liquid mixture of several illicit drugs that is typically dissolved in drinks.
Various drug packing supplies, such as sachets and a sealing machine, as well as a pistol and bullet rounds were also seized.
Deputy national police commander Chinnapat Sarasin said the two men were believed to have sold drugs to foreigners at several entertainment venues.
The duo told authorities that they had ordered the drugs from Laos. The drugs were hidden in speaker cabinets and shipped into Thailand using a private transport company. They collected the drugs from a location in Hua Lamphong area near Bangkok’s Chinatown and frequently changed their accommodation to avoid being discovered.
The men are also being charged with entering Thailand illegally more than 20 years ago, said the authorities. They were handed over to the police’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau for further investigation and prosecution.
Over 200 people, many of whom were Chinese nationals, were arrested during Wednesday’s police raids, reported local media.
The raids took place across several venues, one of which was a karaoke parlour masquerading as a car wash, reported The Bangkok Post.
Of those arrested, about 100 people tested positive for drugs. At least 300 packets of illicit drugs like ketamine and happy water were also found during the bust.
Dozens of luxury cars were also impounded.
Thai authorities have been ramping up the crackdown on illicit drugs in the wake of the Oct 6 mass killing in the north-eastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
A former policeman, who had a history of drug use, had stormed a childcare centre in the province and fatally shot and stabbed 37 people, many of whom were children.
The incident, which shocked the nation, pushed discussions on gun control and drug use back into the national agenda, with the government and opposition parties putting forth proposals ranging from stricter firearm laws, to renewed calls for a war on drugs and also a focus on mental health.
Thailand has been a major transit hub and destination for drugs flowing from its borders with Myanmar and Laos.
Over the years, cross-border drug trade has only worsened. In 2021, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime seized a billion methamphetamine pills in the region.