The kiwi has been named as Michael Holt and has also charged with working illegally in Thailand while holding a retirement visa. He is being held in custody at Chiang Mai police station.

A 55-year-old New Zealand was arrested by Chiang Mai police on Wednesday night and is facing serious consequences after police found illegal drugs after searching a bar and restaurant premises owned by the man. He has been charged with possession with intent to distribute.

Thai police are holding the Kiwi named as 55-year-old Michael Holt in custody and are processing charges against him including one for drug dealing after Wednesday’s nighttime raid on his bar and restaurant on Sam Lan Road in the heart of Chiang Mai.

Thai police in Chiang Mai on Wednesday night raided a restaurant and a bar run by 55-year-old New Zealand man Michael Holt. The raid took place at a premises in the Sam Lan road in the centre of Chiang Mai at 10 pm.

Kiwi charged with working illegally in Thailand

Police were investigating reports that the Kiwi, who holds a retirement visa to live in Thailand, was working in Thailand illegally. Under the provisions of Thailand’s immigration law, the holder of a retirement visa is specifically prohibited from engaging in work or business within the kingdom.

Police also discovered that Mr Holt did not have a valid work permit which is required for any foreigner engaged in commercial activity from a place of work in Thailand on a continuous basis.

Drugs found included ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine

Police, in the course of their search, found 64 ecstasy tablets, 9.92 grams of cocaine and 9.62 grams of ketamine. Some of the drugs were found in a desk which only the New Zealand man had access to while some rugs were found scattered on the floor of the premises.

Charged with possession of drugs with intent

The man was accompanied by a Thai girlfriend and observed as the police went about the search and the collection of evidence. Mr Holt was subsequently arrested and taken to Chiang Mai police station. He has been charged with working in Thailand illegally and without a work permit in addition to possession of illicit drugs and most seriously, possession of illicit drugs with intent to distribute. 

He is currently being detained as police issue proceedings for legal action against him.