A 38-year-old man from Taiwan, scheduled to board a flight to his home country, was arrested at Don Mueang International Airport with 7.2 kilograms of heroin.

The drugs were concealed in 18 tins of prickly heat powder. The suspect Chern Kwan Lin claimed innocence, saying he was paid Bt30,000 to take the powder back to Taiwan.

Police say the arrest was made after information was received from drugs suppression counterparts in Taiwan that a gang was engaged in a smuggling operation between Thailand and Taiwan.

Police say the arrest was the latest after several other smuggling attempts and that the drugs would have been valued at 100 times what it cost in Thailand if it had reached the streets of Taiwan.

Lin had arrived in Bangkok on a tourist visa on April 13. His arrest led to a drugs suppression team raiding a hotel room in Soi Rang Nam in downtown Bangkok where Khai Lin Si, another Taiwanese, was arrested with 8.8 kilograms of heroin.

The total seizure of 16 kilograms of heroin could be worth up to Bt500 million in Taiwan.