Malaysian drug kingpin deported to Thailand, authorities working to seize remaining ill-gotten gains

BANGKOK, Jan 11: The 41-year old Malaysian drug kingpin nabbed in Laos has been deported to Thailand, with authorities ramping up investigations to seize his remaining ill-gotten gains  from alleged drug trafficking activities.

The man from Parit Buntar, Perak, Malaysia was arrested on last Dec 28, in Vientiane, Laos and deported to Thailand on Thursday. 

Secretary General of the  Narcotics Control Board, Pol Lt Gen  Phanurat Lukboon said the man will face prosecution in Thailand for drug trafficking. 

“He will not be extradited to Malaysia because there is no arrest warrant against him there. However, the Malaysian police are interrogating him in Bangkok to gather information that could lead to the seizure of his assets in Malaysia worth 4 billion baht,” he told Bernama. 

Earlier, the heavily guarded suspect flew on a special flight from Laos and was brought to the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) office.

Phanurat said with the arrest, “ice” (crystal methamphetamine) export to the Australia, Taiwan and   Malaysia is expected to be reduced by more than 40 per cent.  

“He is involved in 11 drug cases in Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia since 2018. He is the mastermind of drug syndicate operating in the Golden Triangle,” he said. 

 He said ONCB and partner agencies had seized the suspect’s extensive assets in Thailand, including a land plot with a building in Bangkok, two condominiums in Trat, three yachts in Chiang Rai, and two cars, three motorbikes, firearms, cash, savings in 10 banks, and other valuables in Chon Buri, with a total worth exceeding 85 million baht.

Meanwhile,  Phanurat thanked the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Malaysia Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their invaluable support in intelligence sharing, training, and investigative assistance in this case. 

The suspect is also believed to be associated with a drug syndicate network in Malaysia.

He has been actively involved in drug trafficking from the Golden Triangle since 2006, operating across Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Laos, working with various drug networks.

He also used Thailand for both money laundering and as a transit point for smuggling drugs.

The investigators identified the man as the main suspect behind a major drug bust in June last year, following the seizure of 998kg of crystal methamphetamine and the arrest of seven suspects in Ratchaburi province.

An arrest warrant was subsequently issued on him in August of the same year.