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Former drug-buster cop arrested, suspended pending investigation

THE ROYAL Thai Police has suspended from duty Pol Lt-Colonel Chamnarn Pumpaijit, a Chiang Mai-based anti-narcotics police officer, who was earlier arrested with a cache of narcotics, pending a fact-finding probe.

Chamnarn's supervisor, Chai Prakan superintendent Pol Col Thawatchai Thepboon, was also transferred to an inactive post at the Provincial Police Region 5 Office and faces a probe for negligence.

Chamnarn was arrested in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district on Monday along with 800,000 yaba pills and one kilogram of crystal meth in his car.

Chamnarn reportedly confessed to transporting the drugs to get Bt6 million to repay his Bt2-million debts.

The arrest surprised many people as Chamnarn was known for his active work in suppressing drugs in the North and was a popular speaker on anti-drug issues.

Lampang Police yesterday raided Chamnarn's two houses in Muang district, but found nothing illegal there.

Police sealed the houses and confiscated a Toyota Fortuner parked at one of them, worth Bt10 million totally.

Meanwhile, deputy national police chief Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen yesterday interrogated Chamnarn and his two alleged Myanmar accomplices at the Chiang Rai Police Station. Affirming Chamnarn would be severely punished if found guilty of this unacceptable crime among the police force, Pongsapat urged him to cooperate with police attempts to arrest more accomplices.

At yesterday's press conference, Pongsapat also revealed that Chamnarn's claim of having to pay off debts contradicted a subsequent police discovery of gold bars weighing 150 baht found in his possession, which should have been adequate to settle his debts.


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