Klong Toey Drug Problem

War Weapons Seized

Police Investigate Six Suspects for Ties to Alleged Drug Kingpin and Arms Trafficking

BANGKOK, THAILAND – In a significant operation near the residence of Interior Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul, police have detained six individuals suspected of carrying illegal firearms and drugs. Metropolitan Police Chief Worapong Chiewpreecha announced that the investigation would delve into the origins of the seized weapons and scrutinize the suspects’ criminal histories for any prior serious offenses.

Authorities are exploring the possibility that the apprehended group is linked to a notorious criminal network led by Sayam Sapworasit, also known as Suparp Sidaeng or ‘Phap 70 Rai,’ believed to be a major figure in the Klong Toey drug trade.

The arrests occurred after a late-night police checkpoint on Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Road in Yannawa district flagged down a white Honda Jazz. The vehicle’s occupants included Sasithorn Prommanee, 28; Khwan Thavornchan, 23; Uthen Saptrakul, 25; Chanont Rungroj, 20; Paweera Patchanee, 25; and Sommart Yudee, identified by the alias Moo Klong Toey.

A search led to the discovery of two grams of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” on driver Sommart Yudee. Further inspection of the car, owned by Sasithorn Prommanee, revealed a cache of weapons in the trunk, including two Uzi automatics, two MT rifles, an AK-47, and ammunition, all fully loaded. The search also yielded 44,719 baht in cash, gold ornaments, several mobile phones, and a computer notebook.

Subsequent raids on Sasithorn’s apartment in Klong Toey’s Sukhumvit Soi 50 uncovered an additional two kilograms of “ice,” valued at approximately 6 million baht, alongside a 9mm automatic pistol, ammunition, and several bank account books. Sasithorn claimed she was compensated between 40,000 to 50,000 baht for each of three drug deliveries she conducted on behalf of an unnamed employer.

Despite her claims of ignorance regarding the identity of her employers and the contents of the box of weapons, police remain skeptical. Pol Col Jiraphat Phumjit, Deputy Chief of Metropolitan Police Division 5, expressed his belief that the suspects are integral to the drug distribution network allegedly orchestrated by Sayam Sapworasit.

This incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by Thai authorities in combating the intertwined issues of drug trafficking and illegal arms within the nation.


Phap 70 Rai, a figure synonymous with the drug trade in the Klong Toey district, has a complex history with the Thai legal system. Arrested in 2003 amidst then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s aggressive ‘War on Drugs,’ Phap, whose real name is Sayam Sapworasit, faced serious charges that led to a life sentence in 2004 for drug trafficking, alongside a twenty-year sentence for money laundering. The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) seized his assets, which were later auctioned for twenty million baht.

However, in a dramatic turn of events, the Appeals Court acquitted Phap of drug charges in 2005, a decision that has allowed him to continue exerting significant influence across social, economic, and political spheres in Klong Toey.

Background Information from 2003:

Sayam Sapworasit, also known as Supap Seedaeng and nicknamed “Pap 70 Rai,” was 35 years old at the time of his arrest. A resident of the Klong Toey district, he was engaged in ostensibly legitimate businesses, including car financing, drivers’ license renewals, and car insurance sales. These enterprises are suspected to have been fronts for laundering money derived from illicit activities.

Sapworasit was apprehended on March 26, 2003, at his residence in Klong Toey, implicated in a scheme with two individuals arrested in 1998. Following his arrest, authorities detained his wife a month later, seizing an additional 100 million baht in assets.

Asset Seizure and Syndicate Operations:

The government has taken control of personal and syndicate-owned properties estimated to be worth over 230 million baht, though this figure is believed to represent only half of Sapworasit’s actual net worth. His involvement in drug trafficking dates back to 1994, with police asserting that the syndicate was specifically established nine years prior to manage the proceeds from these illegal operations.

The assets seized from Sapworasit and his syndicate, identified as key players in Klong Toey’s drug trafficking network, underscore the extensive reach of their operations within the community.

Despite the legal challenges and asset seizures, Phap 70 Rai’s acquittal on drug charges has left a lasting impact on the fight against drug trafficking in Thailand, highlighting the complexities of dismantling criminal networks and the challenges faced by law enforcement in ensuring justice.