Authorities intercepted 275 kilograms of dry marijuana, worth Bt10 million, being transported in a sedan through Chumphon’s Pathiu district on Sunday.
Provincial Police Region 8 chief Pol Lt-General Sorasak Yenprem told a press conference on Monday that the haul was bound for a neighbouring country.
A combined security team of Army, police and administrative officials at the Ban Pala checkpoint on Phetchkasem Highway in Tambon Khao Chairat spotted a suspicious sedan that took a sudden turn before reaching the checkpoint, and traced it to a resort five kilometres away.
Officers searched the vehicle and apprehended the driver, Supat Dusita, 33, after they found the marijuana.
The suspect told police that he was paid Bt100,000 to transport the drugs from Nakhon Phanom to Songkhla’s Hat Yai district for further distribution to a neighbouring country. He said he was tipped off about the checkpoint by an accomplice driving a pick-up truck, which police later found parked at a petrol station two kilometres from the checkpoint.
Police also arrested alleged accomplice Sang Somuangsae, 43, and passenger Winai Thaosorn, 32.
Sorasak said the three men had been arrested in a similar drug-smuggling case before and had claimed that they had to repeat the offence or else they would be killed.