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Second drug kingpin arrested in Thailand tightening dragnet on huge syndicate

February 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.7%. 1 min read.

AYUTTHAYA, THAILAND - 2019/06/26: A Thai soldier guards bags of methamphetamine pills during the 49th Destruction of Confiscated Narcotics ceremony to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok. More than 16,467 Kg of drugs, including methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and opium, worth more than $600 million, were destroyed as the Thai government began its anti-drug campaign, according to the Thai Ministry of Public Health. (Photo by Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A second senior leader of a vast drug syndicate has been arrested, a Thai narcotics official said, as a transnational dragnet tightens on the Sam Gor group, which police say dominates the $70 billion annual Asia Pacific drug trade.

(CNN)A second senior leader of a vast drug syndicate has been arrested, a Thai narcotics official said, as a transnational dragnet tightens on the Sam Gor group, which police say dominates the $70 billion annual Asia Pacific drug trade.

Lee, 65, is a former prison mate of Tse's suspected of being involved in drug trafficking for four decades.

A 2018 Australian Federal Police (AFP) document reviewed by Reuters outlining the top 19 targets in the syndicate described Lee as a "senior project manager responsible for big ventures of border controlled drugs. "

"The suspect was arrested by Thai Narcotics police on Oct 1 based on an arrest warrant issued by a Thai court, which followed an extradition request by the Australian authorities," Lieutenant General Montri Yimyaem, head of Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau, told Reuters when asked about Lee.

Police suspect Lee later played a key role for the syndicate overseeing drug lab operators in Shan State in northern Myanmar and regularly traveled there, the two investigators said.

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