Pattaya Daily News

19 October 2007 :: 12:10:43 pm 40368

MAJOR EUROPEAN DRUG TRAFFICKERS NABBED IN SOUTH OF THAILAND

Thai police arrested four alleged members of Belgium‘s ‘‘most-wanted‘‘ drug trafficking gang at the resort on Samui island, South of Thailand. Two of them are Belgians and two are Dutch citizens.
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On 18 October 2007, Thursday morning, Members of Thailand’s drug suppression police, accompanied by nine counterparts from Belgium, made the arrests at a house on the southern resort island of Koh Samui. Police confiscated four cars and bank passbooks with deposits totally more than 100 million baht. The Belgian police chief said banks would be asked to freeze the suspects’ property and deposits.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Wut Liptapanlop, Commander of the police Narcotics Suppression Bureau, declared that the drug trafficking gang had fled out of Europe after Belgian police broke up a trafficking ring last year.

Police identified the four suspects as Ronald Koornwinder, 46, and Paulus Meyer, 44, of the Netherlands, and Belgians Koen Van Staay, 30, and Kelly Cautereels, 25, the sole woman in the group.

Belgian authorities indicted the men in connection with the smuggling of 125 kilograms (275 pounds) of heroin, 200 (440 pounds) of cocaine and 350 kilograms (770 pounds) of marijuana into Belgium from South Africa.

”High-level Belgian officers traveled to Thailand and found gang members were living on Koh Samui, with Thai wives and spending drug money on houses to launder the cash,” Pol Maj.Gen. Wut said.

A source in the local tourism business said Koh Samui has become a bustling mafia hub, with gangsters in Pattaya expanding their presence to the resort island.

”There are direct flights from Singapore and Hong Kong to Koh Samui, allowing gang members to slip through a lax local immigration process,” said the source.

The Thai police said the suspects will be extradited to Belgium.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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