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Drug Kingpin Arrested in Bangkok

Bangkok, Fri Jan 20 2017
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The Royal Thai Police were hailing a victory yesterday after they apprehended a Laotian national, Mr Xaysana Keopimpha, 41, who they identified as the biggest drug lord in Thailand’s north eastern Isaan region, moments after he stepped off a plane at an airport in Bangkok. The arrest was the result of a five year operation by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.

The dramatic arrest of Mr Keopimpha took place in front of hundreds of tourists and commuters at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport arrival hall at about 5pm yesterday. An officer from the anti-narcotics police unit said Mr Keopimpha let his guard down and flew from Phuket to Bangkok without knowing police were waiting to ambush him. “We have been monitoring him for a long time now,” Suppakit Srichannon, deputy commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, told Khaosodenglish by telephone. “He probably didn’t expect that we would manage to apprehend him.”

The 41-year-old Laotian was traveling in Phuket with his companions before flying to the capital city for sightseeing, Major General Suppakit said. He added that police were aware of his travel plans and so they planned to arrest him in Bangkok.

Mr Keopimpha is wanted on allegations of running a trans-national drug network that operates in parts of Laos and Thailand’s Isaan region. His arrest is a huge blow to the rest of his organisation, according to Major General Suppakit. “He’s the biggest drug lord in Isaan,” Suppakit said. The major general added that police commandos were in the process of raiding more than 20 buildings across Thailand to look for Xayasana’s accomplices at the time of writing.

In a separate interview with the Laotian Times Police Lieutenant General Sommai added “We have already arrested 50 individuals working under Mr Keopimpha’s network during the last five years. They are known to have smuggled over five million methamphetamine tablets, known as yaba in Thailand, into Thailand from Laos”. The article by the Laotian Times can be found here:

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