Police and soldiers raid a house in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district where more than a dozen illicit kratom plants were being grown. VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB
Police have arrested 17 suspects and seized more than 200 methamphetamine pills and 18 kratom plants during coordinated raids on 21 locations in the Lat Krabang district of Bangkok on Monday.
The police zeroed in on three communities where illicit drugs were reported to have been traded and trafficked in large quantities.
The raids also received cooperation from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and were backed up by the military.
Police said 17 suspects were arrested during the raids in which 246 meth pills, 43 grammes of crystal meth, or ya ice, as well as 18 kratom plants (mitragyna speciosa) and 1.5 litres of kratom extract were seized.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakan led the raid on a house where the plants were found growing.
House owner, Boonsong Yarangwong, 74, said his son-in-law has planted the kratom for personal use on the family plot more than 20 years ago.
Police said the crackdown was launched after residents complained that the communities were rife with drug dealers and users.
The raids came after recent large drug seizures. Late last month, a 32-year-old man was arrested on charges of drug trafficking after police found almost 200,000 methamphetamine pills in his pickup.
Yutthapol Sukthong, a resident of Trang, was detained at a checkpoint in Thalang district on Dec 19 after police discovered 10 speed pills hidden in his socks.
A total of 195,800 speed pills were later found inside the spare tyre of his pickup truck after a search of the vehicle.