200kg of Crystal Meth Found Hidden in Ancient Statues Replicas

At least 201 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine pills have been seized after local police discovered the drugs hidden in six replica heads of ancient “Moai” statues about to be shipped to Taiwan.

On Wednesday, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), the Immigration Bureau and the Taiwanese police department’s representatives joined efforts to raid the shipping company All Trans Logistics 2011 at Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Sri Racha district, Chonburi province.

Authorities examined six replica Moai heads, mysterious giant human statues found on Easter Island, where they were stored awaiting shipment to Taiwan.

National Police Deputy Director Roy Inkhapairoj said officers had found around 201kg of crystal meth pills inside six heads they examined.

Official reports showed the investigation was launched earlier this year when police were tipped off about a gang of drug dealers.

Thai security forces collaborated with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in response to reports that a Taiwanese man identified only as Pan and his Thai girlfriend identified as Ju were leading the drugs gang that planned to smuggle narcotics into Taiwan.

According to Pol Gen Roy, police officers discovered that the couple had made several trips between both nations. After tracking their movements, authorities also found that they had stored the replica Moai heads in a rented depot in Samut Sakhon province.

The six replicas were transported from Taiwan to the Samut Sakhon depot in early 2021 as they would be reportedly used in Thai exhibitions. A declaration to customs officials in Laem Chabang named a woman, identified only as Kanyaphak, as responsible for the pieces’ rental and transportation costs.

Police agents monitored the two women involved in the case, discovering that they had exchanged more than 10 million baht through their bank accounts. The female suspects did not have specific professions, and the money sources could not be identified, Pol Gen Roy added.

NSB chief Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai said several members of the drugs gang had been arrested but gave no details about their capture or identities.