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Thai drug lord who had plastic surgery tries but fails to fool police

Police used an old-school tactic to bust the drug lord

Thai drug lord Sarahat Swangjaeng, 25, was arrested after evading authorities for three months. (Photo credit: Thai Police)
Thai drug lord Sarahat Swangjaeng, 25, was arrested after evading authorities for three months. (Photo credit: Thai Police)

Police arrested a Thai drug lord who went to extreme measures to evade authorities going after him for three months.

Sarahat Sawangjaeng had undergone a number of plastic surgeries to look like a "handsome Korean man" and changed his name to Jimin Cheong. He was finally caught in Bangkok on Friday (24 February) on warrant issued by the Criminal Court.

Sarahat had been importing methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly known as ecstasy, from Europe into Thailand by ordering it through the dark web and paying with Bitcoin. He would then sell it to customers in Bangkok and the surrounding areas.

In November 2022, Thai customs officials found a package containing 2,575 grams of MDMA and 290 ecstasy pills. The package was traced back to Sarahat, leading to the warrant for his arrest.

Police use old-school tactic

Despite his best efforts at physical transformation, authorities caught Sarahat using an old-school police tactic. An undercover police officer pretended to be interested in working as a drug mule for Sarahat, leading to the drug lord's arrest.

Thai media also reported that the police were shocked upon Sarahat’s arrest because “none of his original face was left,” and that indeed he had transformed into a “handsome Korean man.”

They noted that his face had dramatically changed after they compared his face to his mugshots from his three previous arrests.

Thai police said Sarahat was one of the main causes of Bangkok's MDMA epidemic, and that they believed there were more suspects in foreign countries. The investigation is ongoing.

Sarahat will be charged with illegal importation of narcotics.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and lifestyle writer who focuses on politics, the economy, and pop culture. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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