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Bt100m assets of ex-village head seized over suspected drug links


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A former village head was arrested in Surat Thani province and his assets worth over Bt100 million confiscated on Sunday for alleged links to drug trafficking.

Armed with a search warrant, police raided a luxury home of Worawut Rattanaphumthanaul, 45, in Surat Thani’s Kanchanadit district on suspicion that he was involved in meth-amphetamine trafficking.

The search uncovered two guns and ammunition but no illicit drugs.

The house and assets found there were worth over Bt50 million. Police have confiscated them pending further investigation, as these assets were suspected to have been ill-gotten gains.

Another raid, led by Surat Thani Governor Wichawut Jinto, 5th Infantry Division chief Maj-General Manoj Chankhiri and Surat Thani police chief Maj-General Apichart Boonsriroj took place at Worawut’s liquor shop. Dubbed as the biggest liquor shop in Surat Thani town, it had liquor worth about Bt36 million.

“His assets confiscated now are worth Bt100 million,” Apichart said.

He said police had been investigating Worawut’s activities for three to four years already.

“He is an investor behind drug trafficking gangs,” Apirchart said.

Sarawut Phakdee, a senior official from the Office of Narcotics Control Board Region 8, said Worawut was considered a big drug trafficker in the region.

An informed source said Worawut had changed his surname from Sodrung, after he was dismissed as the village head of Moo 8 in Tambon Tha Utae, over allegations that he was involved in the theft of Buddha statues from a temple.

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