Huge Drug Kingpin Arrested in Sting Op

 | Wed 12 Oct 2016 10:43 ICT

CityNews – 12th October, 2016, The Narcotics Suppression Bureau combined forces to arrest Lao Ta Saaenlee, 79, the so-called “Thailand’s King of Drugs” along with his henchman. Over 100 officers came together for this sting operation. An undercover officer who had spent two years working from inside Lao Ta’s gang, had arranged for a deal whereby Lao Ta would sell 20 kilomgrams of ice for 10 million baht.

On October 11th, Laota, who was a head of a village in Mae Ai District of Chiang Mai in the late nineties, but was stripped of his position by the then governor for suspicion of drug dealing, was arrested. Since 1997, there have been many failed attempts to arrest and prosecute him. He has been arrested for murder, but wasn’t convicted for lack of evidence and he also has five hundred million baht confiscated at one time, though the money was returned to him, also for lack of evidence.

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Police knew of Lao Ta’s large network of dealers, and an undercover policeman had been working with the gang for two years, earning the trust of Lao Ta and his gang members, leading up to yesterday’s arrest.
In fear of violence from Lao Ta’s henchmen, over 100 officers surrounded the petrol station owned by Lao Ta in Mae Ai, and following the sting, all were taken into custody peacefully.

Lao Ta is of Lisu ethnicity, but a Thai national. The former headman of Bann Huai San in Mae Ai District, he has long been under watch by authorities as a suspected drug kingpin, dealer of weapons as well as being under suspicion for murder. Many of Lao Ta’s children and relatives are said to be in local politics.