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US man, Thai woman arrested in raids on cannabis factories


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Anti-drug police in Chiang Mai province have arrested an American man and a Thai woman in separate raids on two houses in Mae Rim district that were allegedly used as cannabis production facilities.

Police allegedly found cannabis in multiple forms – dried, liquid, tablets as well as plants. Inside one house, there was a laboratory used for producing cannabis products and other drugs.

The American was identified as Joshua Paul Pate, 44, and the woman as Ruewornrat or Amporn Wiriyaathorn, 37.

The arrest resulted from a police investigation into a website that the suspects are said to have operated to sell an illegal drug, known as Dianabal DS, as well as sedatives in the Diazepam group.

The sedatives are used by drug addicts to help them sleep.

Ruewornrat was arrested on February 23 after police allegedly found 100,000 tablets of the sedatives with her at a transportation station in the province. The investigation extended to a house in Soi Duangdee, where chemical precursors were found along with drug production machines and dried and liquid cannabis.

The raid led police to another house in Moo 3 in the same district, where they found more machines. Pate was arrested at this house for allegedly possessing the narcotics and overstaying his visa. The confiscated items were worth about Bt14 million.

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