Drug dealer known as the ‘boss’ believed to have run the most extensive drug network on Koh Samui was a former convict who spent 9 years in prison and built his empire upon his release. 

The Chief of Police in Surat Thani has voiced concerns that a drug kingpin arrested on the island of Koh Samui on Friday last may have been shielded or assisted by state officials. The Police Chief of Surat Thani province Major General Apichart Boonsriroj warned that there would be severe repercussions for anyone found to be part of the narcotics empire and network run by the drug baron.

Police on Koh Samui arrested 63-year-old Sompong Ruangsri (right) on Friday and as they brought him to his residence and business address at the centre of his illegal drugs empire and network, reporters noticed a black Alphard (inset) used on Friday 13th to transport the Thai Prime Minister on a visit to Koh Samui. It was later confirmed by the van’s owner identified only as Mr Por that there was no connection to the criminal suspect.

The policeman has voiced his concerns that a drug kingpin arrested on Koh Samui on Friday may have had connections in high places locally. This includes the illicit support of officials and leading figures in society on the island which is so loved and popular with expats and foreigners in Thailand.

63-year-old known in drugs and crime circles in Koh Samui as ‘the boss’ wanted on January warrant

The man was named as 63 years old Sompong Ruangsri who is also known within crime and drug dealing circles on the island as ‘the boss’ and for whom an arrest warrant had been outstanding since January 16th this year. The warrant was issued by the Samui Provincial Court on charges of selling methamphetamine.

10 bank accounts and other assets seized from the criminal suspect including cars and watches

Following the drug lord’s arrest, the Governor of Surat Thani, Witchawut Jinto and the police chief briefed the media. They revealed that so far, 10 banks accounts, 2 luxury wristwatches, gold necklaces and two cars had been seized by authorities which were linked to the suspect.

Mr Sompong was arrested by police in the Tha Sala district of Koh Samui although the exact details surrounding his apprehension by police has not been made public at this time.

Warning of the consequences for officials found complicit in the activities of the drugs network

Police Chief Apichart was clear that any local officials found to be linked to what police believe to be an elaborate network run by the drug kingpin will face serious consequences.

Drug boss was a former convict who spent 9 years behind bars until his release in 2011

It has emerged that police only identified Mr Sompong as the main source of drug dealing activity on the island following a series of crackdowns last year. Further investigation into the man revealed that he was already a convicted drug dealer having spent nine years in prison for heroin dealing. He was sent to prison in 2002 and at that time had over ฿10 million in assets seized.

Criminal able to build a new drugs empire

Upon his release in 2011, Mr Sompong began to put in place a new drugs empire which police investigators now strongly suspect was aided and abetted by key officials working within government agencies on the island. The investigation into the drug-dealing boss is continuing and may intensify as legal proceedings against him move ahead.

Van rental business at the centre of the trade

Mr Sompong had operated a van retail business on the island in Bo Phut known as the Ruangsri Group. It is believed that authorities are still investigating his business activities and may yet seize further assets. This was reported on Monday by the Bangkok Post newspaper which cited a source in the Narcotics Control Board. It is believed that the van rental business may have been used to launder drug money.

Bizarre coincidence of luxury van used to ferry Prime Minister on Friday 13th on his Koh Samui visit

On Friday, following his arrest, police took Mr Sompong back to his residence and business address in Bo Phut. There, they were confronted by a black Alphard, a high specification Toyota van. This vehicle was used on Friday, September 13th last to transport Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha when he visited Koh Samui.

Owner of the van denies any links with the drug boss

On Sunday, following press queries, the owner of the vehicle who only identified himself as Mr Por clarified that the van was in no way associated with Mr Sompong and that it was a coincidence that it had been parked in the vicinity near the drug kingpin’s premises.