BANGKOK - Thai authorities have arrested two Malaysian men and seized almost 100kg of heroin and "crystal" methamphetamine that were found in their possession, when they were stopped at a checkpoint in southern Thailand last week, Malaysia's Bernama news agency reported on Sunday (Dec 18).
The two men, aged 44 and 46, had been travelling from Bangkok en route to Hatyai when they were busted with the drugs which were found in their car at a checkpoint in southern Chumphon province last Sunday morning (Dec 11).
Major General Dusadee Choosankij, acting chief of Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Division, said the two Malaysians had been contracted to bring the drugs worth millions to an unidentified person in Hatyai. Authorities believe the package was then to be transported across the border to Penang, from where it would be sent to a third country.
He said the men had conducted their illegal trade in the early morning with the hope of avoiding a police stop as they believed the police would be too tired after their night duty to check on their car.
"They believed travelling in the early morning meant they would have an easier passage to their destination, Hatyai, as the authorities manning the checkpoints (along the route) would be exhausted after working long hours," he was quoted saying by Bernama.
"But they felt nervous after their car was stopped at a checkpoint in Chumphon about 8 am on Dec 11 after hours of driving from Bangkok and the officers noticed it."
He said officers who inspected the car discovered 140 bars of heroin weighing 52.4kg and 41kg of 'crystal' methamphetamine, that were hidden in the car's rear audio speaker compartment.
The two men will be charged and could face life imprisonment in a Thai jail if found guilty.
Major General Dusadee also said the two men had been contacted by the syndicate members despite being under custody. Members of the syndicate had called the men to seek information on the drugs and had sent photos to the men of their friends being tortured and beaten in Malaysia after learning that the pair's operation had been foiled.
He said the photos were sent "to show to them that the beatings were the consequence of their failure to execute the mission successfully".