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Pattaya Daily News

30 August 2010 :: 10:08:16 am 37085

Syrian Drug Ring Theories Intensify with Further Arrests

Two more Iranian nationals have been arrested smuggling crystal methamphetamine (Ya-Ice) at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sunday. In similar circumstances to several busts made last week, the two men had arrived from Syria having organised an alleged ‘package tour.’
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Bangkok, the 29th of August 2010: Customs officers working at Thailand’s major international airport arrested two Iranian men found in possession of over 6kg of the illicit class-1 restricted narcotic Ya-Ice.

The two men, who had been observed acting suspiciously while in possession of a peculiar style of suitcase, were asked to undergo a random baggage inspection. Upon completing the search, officers found a total of 6.2kg of Ya-Ice concealed in a ‘false bottom’ to the suspicious suitcase. The estimated street value of the confiscated narcotics equates to approximately Bt21.7 million.

Under interrogation, the two men, Mr. Habibihemat Siamak [41] and Mr. Elmjou Mohammad Reza [25], informed customs that they had purchased a package tour to fly to Thailand in Turkey. Allegedly, the deal included an all expenses paid trip to the Kingdom with a baggage full of appropriate attire included in the deal.

Having left Turkey for Syria, were they picked up the aforementioned luggage, the pair then boarded an outbound flight to Qatar before transiting to a third flight bound for Thailand. According to the terms of the alleged package tour, the two men were due to be met by another agent in Bangkok who would then organise their accommodation. They have both strenuously denied any knowledge of the Ya-Ice or involvement in a smuggling operation.

Following the arrest customs transferred the two, suspected smugglers, into the hands of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, who will now investigate the pair’s links to a suspected Syrian drug smuggling syndicate.

Syrian connections with drug smuggling into Thailand have begun to increase over recent weeks, with the arrest of five Iranian men, in three separate cases, linking back to the capital of Damascus last week. At present officials speculate that the increased attention of transnational investigations aimed at passengers arriving from Tehran, Iran, has forced syndicates to reroute operations through Syria.

In all cases the arrested suspects have been Iranian and arrived on detailed itinerary, which had seen them make several middle-eastern connecting flights before arriving in Thailand

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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