On January 11th, 2024, Pol. Col. Thawee Sodsong, Thai Minister of Justice, Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), and relevant agencies held a press conference on the results of the recent arrest of a Malaysian narcotics fugitive in Laos.
According to a report by the ONCB, the suspect, publicly identified as Ong Gim Wah, Malaysian, a 39-year-old alleged drug lord, had allegedly been conspiring, for more than 17 years, to sell illicit substances in the Golden Triangle area and smuggle them to Malaysia before further distributing them to Asia and European regions.
The ONCB investigated Ong Gim Wah’s case and discovered he had fled Thailand to Laos. The Thai authorities then coordinated with Lao authorities to help successfully track down and arrest the suspect in late December of 2023 to hold him accountable for his crimes, said Pol. Col. Thawee.
Pol. Col. Thawee publicly revealed after the investigation that the Thai ONCB had been investigating Ong Gim Wah’s case since 2006 and found out that the suspect allegedly had a role in providing and coordinating narcotic networks in the Golden Triangle area with drug dealers in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Laos before transporting illicit substances to Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, and other target countries.
From 2018 to the present, Thai ONCB has apprehended Ong Gim Wah’s drug networks of more than 35 individuals and confiscated massive lots of illicit substances including 4.4 tonnes of methamphetamine, 500 kilograms of heroin, 12 tonnes of cocaine, and assets and property with an estimated value of 4 billion baht, stated Pol. Col. Thawee.
Furthermore, the ONCB was investigating to track down involved parties in 8 other drug networks, remarked Pol. Col. Thawee.
On October 5th, 2023, Thai authorities raided 8 locations in 4 provinces in Thailand to arrest those linked to Ong Gim Wah’s drug networks and confiscated assets and property with an estimated value of 85 million baht, revealed Pol. Col. Thawee.
Pol. Col. Thawee lastly extended thanks to the Malaysian Royal Police, Australian Federal Police, Lao ONCB, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as it was a good sign of international cooperation in tackling drug smuggling and Thailand was pleased to be the center for international cooperation.
The suspect is now in Thai police custody after being deported from Laos.