PHUKET: Officers stationed at two different checkpoints on the island today (April 14) caught food delivery drivers carrying kratom in their food bags.

Police and volunteers stationed at a checkpoint on Thepkrasattri Rd in Koh Kaew caught the first take of the day around 8.15am when two men on motorcycles, one of the men wearing a Grab delivery shirt, attempted to pass.

Believing that the men were acting suspiciously, officers stopped and searched the motorbike and found in the insulated food bag a plastic bag containing 1.4 kilograms of kratom leaves.

Police arrested driver Anwa Maimahad, 19, and his passenger Alongkorn Longhan, 26, who was carrying the bag of food.

The two men were charged with illegal possession of a Category 5 drug.

At around 1:30 p.m. today, officers stationed at a checkpoint on Chao Fa West Rd arrested Food Panda delivery driver Widsarut Sritham, 34, after finding a plastic bottle containing about 200ml of kratom juice in its insulated food bag.

Widsarut was taken to Chalong Police Station where he too was charged with illegal possession of a Category 5 drug.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Major General Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri today announced that police have so far made arrests in 454 cases of Emergency Decree violations at checkpoints across the island since April 3, when the national nighttime curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. came into effect.

Since then, officers at checkpoints have inspected 13,822 vehicles, he said.

General Rungrote gave a breakdown of the number of cases brought to court by officers at checkpoints by police station as follows:

  • Phuket Town Police (Muang District) – 140 cases
  • Thalang Police Station – 25 cases
  • Kathu Police Station – 15 cases
  • Patong Police Station – 110 cases
  • Wichit Police Station – 48 cases
  • Chalong Police Station – 39 cases
  • Karon Police Station – 32 cases
  • Cherng Talay Police Station – 15 cases
  • Tha Chatchai Police Station – 12 cases
  • Sakhu Police Station – 11 cases
  • Kamala Police Station – 7 cases

Prosecutions in all cases were swiftly brought to court, with the offenders each sentenced to a fine of B 5,000 and 15 days in jail and two years’ probation, General Rungrote said.

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