Drugs worth B200m found at garland seller’s house

Dutthep Lekdee, 38, a garland seller, (second from left), with police in the banana orchard behind his house in tambon Pho Talad Kaew of Lop Buri's Tha Wung district on Thursday, with packages of methamphetamine and heroin found there. (Photo taken from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau Facebook page)

LOP BURI – A garland seller was arrested after drugs worth an estimated 200 million baht were found hidden at his house in Tha Wung district.

Dutthep Lekdee, 38, was at home when narcotics suppression police raided his house in tambon Pho Talad Kaew about 3pm on Thursday.

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They found 852,000 methamphetamine pills and 7.02kg of heroin hidden in an ice container in front of his house and in a banana orchard behind the house,  Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Charoenwong, deputy commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said during a media briefing.

The drugs had an estimated street value of 200 million baht.

A 9mm pistol, 14 rounds, a mobile phone and bank books with accounts holding millions of baht were also seized, Thai media reported.

Mr Dutthep claimed the drugs belonged to another person who asked him to store them, but he refused to reveal the name of that person.

Before his arrest, authorities apprehended Nirut Khampoo, 25, with 80 speed pills in his possession. They extended the investigation, and that led them to the garland seller’s house.

Authorities believed the house was a major storage point for drugs smuggled from border areas in the North for delivery to dealers in the Central Plains and surrounding areas.

The arrest of Mr Dutthep took his neighbours by surprise. They thought he earned his living selling garlands of flowers and said they had no idea he was involved with drugs.

-The Bangkok Post