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Italian arrested on Samui for cocaine dealing, running motorbike shop illegally

PHOTO: Khaosod

An Italian man has been arrested on Koh Samui for allegedly selling cocaine and operating a motorbike rental shop illegally.

Surat Thani immigration officers arrested the man, named only as 39 year old “Matteo”, on Tuesday, June 18, on Lamai Beach Road. They were acting on a tip-off that an Italian man was supplying cocaine to tourists at bars and clubs on the island.

The authorities launched a sting operation, in which undercover officers agreed to buy 25 grams of cocaine from Matteo, at a cost of 2,500 baht per gram, or 62,500 baht in total.

An undercover officer then met with the Italian at a bar near Lamai Beach. However, Matteo tried to flee on a motorbike when he realised his “customer” was a police officer. He was blocked from leaving by other officers and Immigration officials who arrested him and seized 31 grams of cocaine.

Following the arrest, the authorities searched a motorbike shop run by Matteo, confiscating 70 motorbikes and 8 bank books. According to a Phuket Express report, the bank books showed more than 8 million baht in revenue from what officers described as “illegal transactions”. Police also seized 1,095,000 baht in cash from the Italian.

A subsequent investigation showed that the bike rental shop was registered to a Thai woman named only as Mrs Wassana. However, documentation showed that Matteo was the sole investor and the only one receiving income from the business, with Mrs Wassana merely acting as a Thai “nominee”.

The Italian was taken to Bophut Police Station to be charged with possession of Category 2 narcotics with intent to sell and allowing a Thai person to help with running an illegal foreign business.

Mrs Wassana was also arrested and charged with helping a foreigner to run a business illegally by acting as a nominee.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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