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South Korean drugs kingpin arrested in Bangkok

FILE PHOTO: Wikimedia

Police in Bangkok have arrested a South Korean national believed to be leader of a drug smuggling network.

The 29 year old, named only as Lee, was arrested in the Ekkamai area of the capital yesterday, according to a Bangkok Post report. He is considered one of the most wanted men in his native South Korea.

It’s understood Interpol had also issued a red notice for Lee’s arrest.

Police arrested the suspect at a condo unit and found he was in possession of 3.67 grams of ketamine. According to the report, the South Korean also tested positive for drugs. He has been charged with being in possession of illegal narcotics and overstaying his visa.

It’s understood Lee first entered Thailand as a tourist in May 2022. Immigration records show he hasn’t left since, nor did he ever extend his visa.

Panthana Nutchanart from the Immigration Bureau says Lee’s arrest follows that of another South Korean, who was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport in possession of 0.5 kilograms of ketamine.

While being questioned by police, the suspect claimed he’d been hired by Lee to smuggle the drug to South Korea, where it would be sold to young people.

According to Panthana, Lee is considered the ringleader of a drug smuggling network known as the “Ekkamai Gang”. Police in South Korea have so far arrested 27 of its members.

The South Korean authorities claim Lee’s drug trafficking network has caused more than 1.5 billion baht in damages, making him one of the most wanted men in the country.

Panthana says the authorities are now broadening their investigation to track down Lee’s suppliers, some of whom are thought to have smuggled ketamine into Thailand from neighbouring countries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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