Major southern drug suspect caught in Pattaya

Police move in to arrest a drug suspect wanted on arrest warrants in the South at a car park on Jomtien beach in Pattaya on Saturday. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

PATTAYA: A major drug suspect wanted on six arrest warrants in southern Thailand was arrested in Pattaya on Saturday after five years on the run.

Suriya Monchatin, alias “Lek Thung Song”, was arrested shortly driving his car to park at Jomtien beach in Bang Lamung district. Police subsequently searched his house and found a 9mm pistol and some bullets.

The 51-year-old native of Thung Song district in Nakhon Si Thammarat had managed to evade arrest since 2012. He was the subject of six warrants linked to drug cases, five issued by the Thung Song court and the other by a court in Krabi.

Pol Col Apichai Krobphet, chief of Pattaya police, said Mr Suriya had gone on the run and later moved to Pattaya. Police tracked down him and found that he sold goods at the Rattanakorn Thepprasit market in the beach city.

Officers said Mr Suriya confessed to having bought an unregistered pistol. He also admitted he was involved in the illicit drug trade in the South but said he had washed his hands of drugs since he moved to Pattaya a year ago.

He was held in police custody at Pattaya police station before being handed over to police in Thung Song.

An officer searches the bag of drug suspect Suriya Monchatin following his arrest in Pattaya on Saturday. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

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