How could Thai police let cocaine mastermind flee, asks Hong Kong lawmaker helping arrested trio

James To says officers had 3½ hours to stop the woman called Ming escaping from Bangkok

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 4:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 10:53pm

A lawmaker has questioned if Thai police did their best in investigating a drug trafficking case in which three Hong Kong youngsters caught with cocaine at Bangkok’s international airport face life in prison.

Police had 3½ hours to stop the mastermind, a Hong Kong woman known as Ming, from fleeing by air, said James To Kun-sun, who is helping the families of the trio.

Yau Kit-long, 24, Fong Yee-ting, 19, and Tung Wing-yan, 22, are in jail in Thailand and face a maximum life sentence after 12.3kg of cocaine was found stashed in secret compartments of their luggage at Suvarnabhumi Airport on June 5.

Hong Kong police pressed to track mastermind in drug case that led to Bangkok arrest of trio

Sirichai Piyaphichetkul, Yau’s lawyer, said Thai police had not run any forensic procedures to collect basic evidence, such as whether fingerprints of the three were on the drug packages.

To, Yau’s elder sister and the lawyer handed a petition letter on behalf of the three families to the country’s consul in Hong Kong, Athi Disatha-Amnarj, on Monday, urging Thai police to ask Interpol for help and initiate a joint investigation with authorities in Hong Kong and Brazil to find the mastermind.

“If the Thai authorities do not try their best, it’s unfair to Hong Kong and Chinese citizens in Thailand,” said To, who vowed to pass his concerns to the Chinese Embassy.

Last week To said Hong Kong police had to determine whether Ming had broken any city law, and they might not be able to proceed unless the Thai side made a request. Hong Kong police will not comment on individual cases.

We hope the Thai side can initiate a joint investigation so that the Hong Kong police can take a proper course of action
James To Kun-sun, lawmaker

The three claimed Ming paid them HK$8,000 each to carry three cases she said contained wood carvings from Brazil to Thailand, and hand the cases to her in a hotel in Bangkok.

To said that as far as he and lawyer Sirichai had learned, the three were caught at around 1pm on June 5 and police arrived at the hotel at about 3pm, but Ming had gone. She took a flight to Hong Kong at 6.30pm.

“The Thai police had 3½ hours to stop the mastermind from fleeing. Did they try their best?” To asked.

He said he had sent a letter to the Hong Kong police force earlier but had not received a reply. “The case took place in Thailand so we hope the Thai side can initiate a joint investigation so that the Hong Kong police can take a proper course of action.”

Thai police have 12 weeks starting from the day of arrest to decide on the prosecution. Sirichai said that if the mastermind could not be captured, the three were likely to be jailed for life.

The Post was still waiting for the Thai consul to reply to queries.

Thailand has been a member of Interpol since 1951. Drug trafficking is the No 3 crime priority of Interpol Bangkok, according to its website.