Tag Archives: drug

Xaysana’s Second Life Sentence, Cooperation With Police Avoids Capital Punishment

Arresting Xaysana

Millions of pills smuggled across borders have resulted in a court in Bangkok delivering a second life sentence Wednesday to Lao citizen and convicted drug criminal Xaysana Keophimpha.

Bangkok’s Criminal Court originally handed Xaysana Keophimpha a death sentence for smuggling 1 million methamphetamine pills from Laos to southern Thailand and Malaysia, news organisations with reporters based in Thailand have reported, including The Bangkok Post.

The sentence was reduced to life in prison for cooperation with ongoing police investigations.

The same court in March had delivered Xaysana a life sentence over the smuggling of another 1.2 million methamphetamine pills from Laos after being incriminated as the leader of a smuggling network.

Known for his links to various celebrities, photographs of Xaysana with public figures and police officers were widely shared on social media.

The case has long drawn attention on both sides of the Lao-Thai border and beyond ever since Xaysana was arrested on Jan. 19, 2017.

Xaysana Keobimpha

Xaysana Keophimpha FaceBook Profile

High Profile Case with Celebrity, Powerful Links

A handy explainer was published by The Laotian Times earlier this year entitled The Xaysana Case: What We Know So Far.

The Laotian Times then reported in March this year that Thai and regional media brought to light stories of rumored connections to powerful and influential factions that had allowed him to conduct the illegal operations.

“Images of his ostentatious lifestyle have gone viral on social media in Laos where the majority of the public have condemned his actions.”

Two life sentences certainly provide ample time to consider the end results of his own actions and redeem himself in a way a death sentence does not allow.

Perhaps another positive to come from the case might be an example to the misguided to think twice (or thrice) before risking their freedom in the pursuit of illicit-drug-financed and similarly ill-gotten fair-weather friends, fame and riches.

Multiple Lao Drug Barons Arrested, Millions of Dollars in Assets Seized

multiple drug arrests made in Laos

A number of drug ring leaders have been detained after police officials ordered a massive clampdown on the illicit drug trade across the country.  It has been reported by a senior police officer that a total of 33 suspects have been apprehended in connection to the drug related crimes.

A press conference held by Director General of the General Police Department, Brigadier General Dr.Thonglek Mangnormek revealed that an astounding 30 million baht was used to bribe police officers for releasing each drug lord.

Following the notorious arrest of Lao national kingpin Xaysana Keophimha at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok on January 19th, officers captured yet another key member of the trade, Khonpasong Soukkaseum, also known as Xiengther, and three of his associates in early February. Khonpasong is said to be an even bigger player in the drug trafficking world than Xaysana. Both leaders are identified to be affiliated with different groups.

Brig. General Thonglek informed the media, that Xaysana, also known as Hialob, had evaded the Lao police by fleeing to Thailand. Lao officers swiftly alerted Thai law enforcement who managed to take him into police custody at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Due to ongoing police investigations involving the drug ring, Brig. General Thonglek stated,  Lao police could not provide any answers immediately after Xaysana’s arrest in fear of it negatively impacting the  case.

He then confirmed that Lao officers have taken action in efforts to crack down on Xaysana and his affiliates. He stated, “Our police officers have arrested a team of Xaysana’s in Vientiane and Khammuan province, Xaysana’s home province, on January 20, 2017. Five people were detained including a female.”

When questioned if Laos will request Thailand to extradite the drug lord to be indicted in Laos, the Brigadier General replied that the relevant laws of the two countries must be examined first, and as of now, is not a pressing matter.

Though an uphill battle, Lao Officers have been making strides when it comes to fighting drugs.

Three more major drug lords and their dealers from different rings have been incarcerated.

Last September, drug lord Kinoy Phaxay also known as Noy Akard, and 16 of his associates including two foreigners were detained.

In December a middle-aged couple, Vath Philaban and Mrs Keo Philaban, were arrested in northern Bokeo province.

While just last month, police officers captured Khonthai Khotsombath and two affiliates in Savannakhet province.

A multitude of assets and evidence linked to the drug trade have been confiscated including residences, luxury cars, jet-skis, a hotel, a market, a restaurant, various manufacturing plants, warehouses, garages, a gas station, assorted drugs, military guns and many other unnamed possessions.

Brig. General Thonglek has said that the the suspects in question have plead guilty to trading, transporting and possessing the drugs that have been impounded for evidence.

The investigation is said to be still going strong and officers are pursuing the remaining members of all five groups. He added that police officers are now finalising cases to hand to prosecutors to try the suspects in court.

The Brigadier General has expressed gratitude in all sectors, including members of the public who have aided in the crackdown.

 

Top Ten Drug Trafficking Arrests in 2016

Police nationwide are reporting an increasing number of arrests of drug traffickers as they intensify their efforts to curb the drug trade.

Heading the list of top ten busts this year was the seizure this month of over 100,000 amphetamine tablets, 2kg of opium, one brick of heroin and one small bag of crystal methamphetamine in Nhot-ou district, Phongsaly province. Police arrested Mr Khaechiem, 52, from Oudomsine village in Sing district, LuangNamtha province, who was transporting the drugs.

Second on the list, in November Bokeo police arrested Mr Maisengyord, 51, and his wife Ms Fong, 48, of Huaypheung village, Tonpheung district, after they found 12 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 42,000 amphetamine pills in their possession.

Third on the list, in October Khammuan police seized 30kg of cannabis and arrested Mr Kham-Aiew, 44, of Viengkham village, Pakkading district, Borikhamxay province.

In fourth place, 12 bricks of heroin were seized in August in LuangPrabang province. Police arrested MrYearthor, 28, of Chomchouk village and MrKuaha, 29, of Nalae village, both in Huayxai district, Bokeo province.

Fifth on the list, Oudomxay police in August discovered 60,000 amphetamine pills inside an unoccupied pickup truck and arrested MrChaiyang, 30, and MrXayngeunvang, 27, both of Nongbuadaeng village, Houn district.

Sixth, in August police seized over 2,000 amphetamine pills in Thakhaek district, Khammuan province and arrested MrSaengsavanh, 39, of Naheuang village, Khamkeuth district, Borikhamxay province and MrLertchai, 30, of Dongdamduan village, KaysonePhomvihane district, Savannakhet province.

Seventh on the list, in May, LuangNamtha police arrested two people from a neighbouring country and MrArtee, 28, from Chalernxay village in Long district, after finding 10kg of crystal methamphetamine.

In eighth place, in May Khammuan police seized 59,000 amphetamine pills and arrested MrTongkousong, 32, of Phonkham village, Phonhong district, Vientiane province.

Ninth, in April, following a crackdown LuangNamtha province, police seized 40 bags of precursor chemicals weighing 1,000kg and arrested three alleged drug traffickers from a neighbouring country.

Rounding out the top ten, in A pril Vientiane police seized 12,000 amphetamine pills and arrested Mr Souksavath, 38, of Naxamphan village, LuangPrabang district, LuangPrabang province; Mr Ounsaeng, 42, of Donxay village, Xay district, Oudomxay province; Mr Namnor, 42, of Naphork, village, Xaythany district, Vientiane; and Mr Khampheng, 48, of Nongmaengda village, Xay district, Oudomxay province.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Drug Traffickers Arrested in the Provinces

Phongsaly provincial police recently arrested a drug trafficker after finding more than 108,000 amphetamine pills, two kilogrammes of opium, an ingot of heroin, a small bag of crystal methamphetamine and other items in his possession.

According to the Khuamsangob newspaper, police received a tipoff from people regarding the transport of illegal drugs from Nhot-ou district to Bounneua district, Phongsaly province.

The police had joined with local authorities to set up a roadblock in Nhot-ou district and inspected a target pick-up truck and found the illegal drug stash inside the vehicle.

The drug trafficker was named as Mr Khae-chiem, 52, of Audomsin village, Sing district, Luang Namtha province.

Mr Khae-chiem admitted to police he bought the illegal drugs from Mr Asan, 33, of Nhot-ou district and bought the two kilogrammes of opium from Mr Singkham, 23, of Phousang village, in the same district.

Police are continuing their investigation into the case in the hope of identifying other people involved in the drug ring.

Elsewhere police in the provinces of Bokeo and Luang Namtha have made significant arrests involving large quantities of illegal drugs.

The Bokeo Drug Prevention and Control Department recently arrested a couple and confiscated 12kg of crystal methamphetamine and about 42,000 amphetamine pills in Namkerng village, Tonpheung district.

Police used a vehicle inspection checkpoint in Namkerng village to stop and examine a bus and found the crystal methamphetamine and amphetamine pills in the couple’s bags.

The pair were named as Mr Maysengyod, 51, and Ms Fong, 48, of Huaypherng village, Tonpheung district.

They told police that a drug dealer, who they couldn’t name, hired them to take the drugs from Bokeo province to Vientiane for which they would be paid about 102,000 Thai baht.

Meanwhile, in Luang Namtha province police arrested two men after finding 18,000 amphetamine pills concealed in a motorbike.

The men were named as Mr Korpa, 32, and Mr Kermue, 27, both of Poungxay village, Long district.

Under the amended Article 146 of the Criminal Law, for cases involving refined drugs as opposed to precursor chemicals, the penalties are the following.

For the possession, trading, sale or trafficking of between 0.3 and 100 grammes of synthetic drugs such as amphetamines, ecstasy, ice or crystal methamphetamine or other mind altering substances, the punishment shall be a prison sentences of between 10-20 years in jail plus financial penalties.

Under the law, anyone convicted of possessing over 500g of heroin can be handed the death penalty.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Suspected Drug Dealers Nabbed in Provinces

Police in the provinces of Bokeo and Luang Namtha have made significant arrests involving large quantities of illegal drugs, local media reported.

The Bokeo Drug Prevention and Control Department recently arrested a couple and confiscated 12kg of crystal methamphetamine and about 42,000 amphetamine pills in Namkerng village, Tonpheung district.

According to the Khuamsangob newspaper, police received a tipoff from a local resident regarding the transport of illegal drugs from Bokeo province to Vientiane.

Police used a vehicle inspection checkpoint in Namkerng village to stop and examine a bus and found the crystal methamphetamine and amphetamine pills in the couple’s bags.

The pair were named as Mr Maysengyod, 51, and Ms Fong, 48, of Huaypherng village, Tonpheung district.

They told police that a drug dealer, who they couldn’t name, hired them to take the drugs from Bokeo province to Vientiane for which they would be paid about 102,000 Thai baht.

Police are continuing their investigation into the case in hopes of identifying other people involved in the drug ring.

Meanwhile, in Luang Namtha province police arrested two men after finding 18,000 amphetamine pills concealed in a motorbike.

The men were named as Mr Korpa, 32, and Mr Kermue, 27, both of Poungxay village, Long district.

Police set up a road block in Sing district and stopped the motorbike, finding the stash inside.

Mr Korpa confessed to buying the pills from a man in Myanmar, with the intention of selling them. He paid Mr Kermue 500,000 kip to take him and the pills by motorbike to a Mr Yaso in Homxay village, Sing district.

Under amended Article 146 of the Criminal Law, for cases involving refined drugs as opposed to precursor chemicals, the penalties are the following:

For the possession, trading, sale or trafficking of between 0.3 and 100 grammes of synthetic drugs such as amphetamine, ecstasy, ice or crystal methamphetamine or other mind altering substances, the punishment shall be a prison sentence of 5-10 years. For between 100-500g of any such substances the punishment under the law is 10-20 years in jail plus financial penalties.

Under the law, anyone convicted of possessing over 500g of heroin can be handed the death penalty.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos, China Partner in Drug Control

The Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision has agreed to future cooperation with the Chinese government in the fight against illicit drugs.

Laos is already working to fulfil existing bilateral and multilateral agreements in drug control cooperation and the exchange of information and intelligence on drug trafficking with ASEAN countries and China.

Enhanced regional cooperation such as the joint operation Safe Mekong has strengthened networks and collaboration between Laos, China, Myanmar, and Thailand.

The 13th Laos-China Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation took place in Vientiane yesterday to discuss and plan future cooperation on drug control, especially along the Laos-China border.

The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision, Mr Kou Chansina, Deputy Secretary-General of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, Mr An Guojun, and other officials from the two countries.

The two sides discussed future activities such as the exchange of information and law enforcement in relation to drug trafficking.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Kou said that over the past year the two countries had partnered in the training of officials and police officers to implement the Safe Mekong project. They had also shared information about drug trafficking through the two nations.

Laos is used as a transit country for the shipment of methamphetamine and heroin as well as precursor chemicals. Drug trafficking through Laos has been increasing with higher frequency and volume.

The northwest border in the Golden Triangle area is the main gateway for drug flow into Laos, while the southern border is increasingly used for drug outflow.

Methamphetamine tablets are the most abused drug in Laos, while the number of opium users remains almost stable.

According to a recent report from the Ministry of Public Security, more than 2,200 drug-related cases were handled in the first nine months of this year with more than 3,200 suspects arrested.

More than 1,850kg of methamphetamine tablets were seized along with 181kg of heroin, 106kg of raw opium, 300kg of dried cannabis, more than 130kg of crystal amphetamine (ice) and 1,105kg of powder used to mix and produce drugs.

Laos is closely involved in regional and international collaboration to combat drugs and tackle challenges. The government pays great attention to strengthening international cooperation to clamp down on drug trafficking and abuse.

Laos has signed bilateral agreements on cooperation against the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemical control with a number of friendly countries such as China, Cuba, India, Russia, and the USA, as well as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

PM Advises Champassak on Salary Payments, Drug Control

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith discussed several matters when he visited provincial officials in Champassak on Tuesday, but emphasised five issues in particular.

UN Secretary-General Visits Drug Rehab Centre

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday visited a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts at Sisattanak District Hospital in Vientiane to observe the treatment and counselling services provided for drug users.