Inmate’s wife surrenders as prison drug cleanup continues

February 10, 2012

The wife of Bang Kwang Prison inmate Peerayuth Phaetsakon yesterday turned herself in to police, declaring she had become rich because of her processed wood business, not through the massive drug trafficking operation Peerayuth was accused of running from behind bars. Her surrender coincides with a sweeping Corrections Department operation to clean up drug and other illegal activities in the major prisons.

Department chief Suchart Wonganantachai said the transport of 221 major drug inmates to Ratchaburi’s Khaobin Prison would be completed today. Suchart said prison officials had conducted a thorough search of the jail to ensure it was drugfree and cell phonefree before the arrival of these prisoners. The seasonal transferring of prison directors could also be considered an antidrug achievement, he added.

Suchart’s comment was made as he visited Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son prisons yesterday to get them ready to support an increase in drug inmates following the government’s antidrug measures along the northern borders.

He said Chiang Mai Prison now held 3,700 inmates, well beyond its 2,000inmate capacity. Another prison had been built in Mae Taeng district but wasn’t open for use yet due to a sewage problem, he said.

Meanwhile, Peerayuth’s wife Warika Phaetsakon went along with her lawyer to turn herself in at the Provincial Police Region 1 Office yesterday

Her action followed the recent implication by another suspect, Nipon Kanchat, that drug inmate Peerayuth dealt drugs from behind bars. Nipon’s arrest also led to the arrest of four female suspects along with Bt2 million cash, and 10 bank accounts and ATM cards with a money flow of at least Bt1 million per account. Over 20 people were reportedly getting paid to open bank accounts and withdraw cash as part of the operation.

In 2009, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested Peerayuth and seized Bt24.4 million in cash and some 100 assets worth Bt5.2 million, which DSI believed were bought with drug trafficking money.

Warika said yesterday she had nothing to do with Peerayuth’s drug dealing or drug moneylaundering. Assets worth Bt27 million recently seized by police during additional investigation were from her processed wood business in Tak’s Mae Sot district. Other seized assets belonged to Peerayuth who gave them to her for safekeeping.

Warika’s family yesterday brought a Bt500,000 land title deed to post for her bail release.

Acting chief of Provincial Police Region 1 Khamronwit Thupkrachang urged people accused of involvement in drug trafficking or money laundering to surrender to police for their safety. After giving testimony to police and maintaining their innocence they would be allowed to get bail.

Unknown criminals at around 4am-5am yesterday threw two boxes containing 22 cell phones, eight chargers and five headphone sets into the Angthong Provincial Prison – but officials spotted and seized them.

In Buri Ram Provincial Prison, officials announced they had found 30 yaba tablets and 0.30 grams of crystal meth inside a roasted chicken that a Lop Buri man, Pattanapong Ngamsaeng, 23, allegedly sent to an inmate Boonyarit Yoocharoen. Police later got an arrest warrant for Pattanapong in a bid break up an alleged drug dealing network.

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