by James Morris and Son Nguyen
Thai police smashed a drug distribution base linked with an international drugs gang on Thursday evening when a task force broke into a substantial private residence in Pattaya.
Heavily armed Thai police stormed a walled and gated property in Pattaya on Thursday in a drugs raid targeting the activities of Australian motorbike gangs in the resort city thought to be heavily involved in the city’s drug trade.
Two Australian men nabbed when officers broke into the gated and walled property
The raid on Thursday evening saw officers frantically scale a closed gate at the property as they raced to keep the element of surprise.
Two Australian men were arrested after officers broke into the property in force as well as a Nigerian national and three Thai women.
Over 1.2kg of crystal ice found at the scene
Police later revealed that over 1.2kgs of crystal ice had been found in the course of a search of the property including several guns including a Smith and Wesson revolver.
The two Australian men have been named as 46-year-old Jamie Robert Hanson and 58-year-old Steven Brett Hovi.
The Nigerian was identified as 38-year-old Chimezie Stanley Duru while two Thai women were named as 35-year-old Jiraporn Kiatsutthachit and 34-year-old Wirapha Ungsri. A third Thai woman detained has not been identified.
Thai police linked the raid to two notorious Aussie bikie gangs now operating in Thailand
Thai police are linking the raid to two notorious bikie gangs heavily involved with Australia’s underworld and crime rackets including the Hells Angels gang which has been linked to serious crime in Pattaya for some time and the Comanchero bikie gang.
Comanchero boss denied entry to Thailand
Last August, the boss of the Comanchero bikie gang Michael O’ Brien was refused entry to Thailand when he arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport for a holiday in Thailand and was forced to return to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.
Evidence of massive drug dealing found at home
Thai police on Thursday at a late press conference indicated that the gang had been supplying drugs to tourists in the resort city.
Police in a search of the property discovered no less than 7 cash tablets as well as 12 separate debits cards indicating that the home on the quiet residential road was, in fact, the commercial headquarters of a thriving local drug distribution effort.
Police also seized a Toyota Vios car which was driven to police headquarters after the raid and subsequent arrests of the occupants of the property. The raid occurred at 5.30 pm.
Thai police working with Australian authorities
It is understood that Thai police in Pattaya and Bangkok have been working closely with the Federal Police in Canberra in combating the drug gangs operating between Thailand and Australia.
In October, a Hells Angel gang member was arrested by Thai police in Pattaya. This arrest occurred after Thai police authorities met with officials at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok to discuss the nefarious activities of the Australian bikie gangs in Thailand.
Death penalty a distinct possibility for all 6 arrested in Thursday’s dramatic raid in Pattaya
All those arrested yesterday will face the distinct possibility of the death sentence for large scale drug dealing when they come before the Thai courts.
The death penalty was already handed down to Australian man Luke Cook from Perth and his Thai wife Kanyarat Wechapitak, both former businesspeople in Pattaya.
The couple were condemned by a Thai court last December for their part in a drug-smuggling operation. The couple denied any involvement with drugs but had also been linked to the Hells Angels bikie gang in Pattaya.
Bikie gangs an escalating concern for police
These Australian gangs are known to have established links with drug kingpins in the Southern Chinese province and drug lords in the infamous golden triangle area.
Their operations have been escalating with drugs shipments not only supplying the booming Australian narcotics market but also being sent to NewZealand, European countries and the Americas.