CHONBURI — Three Russians and two Thais have been arrested for allegedly growing marijuana plants in the resort town of Pattaya and mailing packages of cannabis to Russia.
Georgy Nyushkov, 28, Aleksei Druzhinin, 30, and Aleksei Samokhin, 26, were arrested at their home in Pattaya while the Thai suspects, Kaewchai Thumaporn, 43, and Kanokprom Wongsin, 28, were apprehended in Banglamung district, police say.
The Russian suspects reportedly told police they entered Thailand as tourists and bought marijuana from Kaewchai, paying 20,000 baht per kilogram. The suspects then hid the marijuana in packages of incense and mailed them to customers in Russia, said Pol.Maj.Gen. Nitipong Niamnoi, commander of Chonburi police.
"They saw that they were making good money, so they ordered marijuana seeds from a foreign country and planted them in their home," Pol.Maj.Gen. Nitipong said, adding that Kaewchai bought the marijuana from another Thai dealer, Kanokprom.
Chonburi police tracked down the suspects after customs officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport reported intercepting a Russia-bound package from Pattaya that contained 10 kilograms of marijuana.
A raid of the Russian suspects' residence turned up 17 kilograms marijuana, one marijuana plant, 21 flower pots that had been prepared for marijuana planting, 20 postal packages, incense products, and a bong.
"We will prosecute all of the suspects in accordance with the law," said Pol.Maj.Gen. Nitipong. "We will also contact the Russian authorities to expand the arrest of marijuana buyers in that country."