200 kg of crystal meth hidden in replicas of ancient statues en route to Taiwan

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One of six replica Moai heads en route to Taiwan is being moved for examination by police on Wednesday. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)

Police have intercepted 201 kilograms of crystal meth pills hidden in six replicas of ancient “Moai” statue heads waiting in a warehouse for shipment to Taiwan.

A combined force from the Narcotics Bureau (NSB), Immigration Bureau and representatives of the Taiwanese Police Department raided All Trans Logistics 2011, a shipping company, at the deep sea port of Laem Chabang in the district of Sri Racha from Chonburi province on Wednesday to examine six replica Moai heads, giant statues found on Easter Island.

The replicas were in a warehouse awaiting shipment to Taiwan.

After opening six of the heads, they found around 200kg of crystal meth inside, according to Deputy National Police Chief Roy Inkhapairoj.

The operation began earlier this year when police collaborated with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand after learning that a gang of drug traffickers – led by a Taiwanese man identified only as Pan and his Thai girlfriend known only as Ju – planned to smuggle narcotics out of the country into Taiwan.

Pol Gen Roy said police tracked the movements of the two and discovered that they had made several trips between Thailand and Taiwan. They also rented a depot in Samut Sakhon province to store replica Moai heads.

The replicas were transported from Taiwan to the Samut Sakhon depot early last year upon declaration to customs officers in Laem Chabang that the items would be used for exhibitions in Thailand, with another Thai woman named only Kanyaphak being responsible for all transport and rental costs. , he said.

The police find several bags of crystal meth pills inside Moai’s artificial heads. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)

Pol Gen Roy said the police also monitored the two Thai women and discovered that more than 10 million baht had passed through their bank accounts despite having no specific profession, while the sources of the money did not could not be identified.

NSB chief Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai said police arrested several members of the gang and were prosecuting the others. He did not give details of the suspects arrested.

Moai are the mysterious giant human statues found on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia.

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