Speaking to senior officers and police generals yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the police force needed to deliver immediate and substantial results in a month’s time and make subsequent progress in the following months to match the public’s expectations.
The targeted areas are the North, where drugs are most smuggled into Thailand; Bangkok, where drug abuse and sales are most widespread; the three southernmost provinces, where drugs are used to fund insurgency; and in 175 districts classified as areas where business in drugs most flourishes.
Suthep said the police needed to take drastic but non-violent action, though “extrajudicial measures were permitted” if suspects resisted arrest or acted in a hostile manner.
In the much-heralded case against an Ayutthaya-based drug gang wanted for the shooting of a 12-year-old boy, a key suspect yesterday turned himself in, citing fears for his own safety.
Mana “Lui” Roijampa denied that he had driven the getaway car for high-profile drug-dealing brothers known by their aliases Jib and Joke Phai Kheo. Mana faces drug- and arms-possession charges and has been denied bail.
In Loei province, police arrested six people, including a minor, in three simultaneous raids in Muang district and seized 7,000 amphetamine tablets as well as Bt2 million in cash. The three houses searched by police were allegedly used by a gang of amphetamine traders as rendezvous points. Police also seized a handgun and four motorcycles possibly used for delivering drugs.
In Satun, a village head’s assistant was arrested at a road checkpoint for possessing 34 amphetamine tablets. Ratchana Ritjom allegedly carried a handgun and has been charged with possessing a weapon in addition to the drugs-related offence.