BANGKOK – A drug smuggler thought he could successfully trafficked 306 kilogrammes of cannabis to Hatyai in southern Thailand from the northeastern part of the country by hiding the drug in a pickup truck laden with hundreds of the ‘King of Fruits’, the durian.
The 30-year-old man from Umnartjaroen province who was nabbed in Hatyai yesterday, thought the durian’s pungent smell would discourage the authorities from conducting a thorough inspection of his truck and its load.
“But when the pickup truck was stopped by police, the man acted suspiciously when questioned by our officers which ultimately blew his cover and led to our discovery of the cannabis, which was stacked below the durians,” Hatyai police chief, Col Kittichai Sangkhataworn told Bernama today.
The man has since been taken in by police for further questioning, with the authorities believing that the 306 kg of cannabis discovered in the truck were to be smuggled into Malaysia, either for domestic consumption or for re-export to a third country.
According to Sangkhataworn, the consignment of cannabis seized yesterday was estimated to be worth around 5 million Baht (about RM625,000) and was well-packaged which indicated that it was destined for the foreign market.
The man confessed during the initial police investigation that after arriving in Hatyai with the load, the drug would then be smuggled across the border for re-export to a third country.
“He also disclosed that it was his second attempt in transporting drugs to southern Thailand,” said the Hatyai police chief, adding that the man’s first attempt was a success, which prompted him to undertake the second trip.
Sangkhataworn said drug smugglers nowadays used numerous tactics and methods to hide their drug smuggling activities from the authorities.
“This time they (drug smugglers) use durians as their disguise,” he said. – BERNAMA