Two Malaysian drug couriers thought they could safely transport their goods from Bangkok to Hatyai undetected if they conducted their business in the wee hours recently.
The two men, aged 44 and 46, had assumed that conducting their illegal trade in the early morning of that day (Dec 11) was safest as they believed the Thai police were tired after their night-long duty, thus would not check on their car.
"They believed travelling in the early morning meant they would have an easier passage to their destination, Hatyai, as the authorities manning the checkpoints (along the route) would be exhausted after working long hours.
"But they felt nervous after their car was stopped at a checkpoint in Chumphon about 8 am on Dec 11 after hours of driving from Bangkok and the officers noticed it," Narcotics Suppression Division acting chief, Maj-Gen Dusadee Choosankij, told Bernama.
Upon further checking the car, the officers discovered 140 bars of heroin weighing 52.4kg and 41kg of crystal methamphetamine, hidden in the car's rear audio speaker compartment, he said.
The two Malaysians were nabbed in Chumphon, southern Thailand, several hours from their intended destination, Hatyai, said Dusadee, adding that the men were currently in custody, facing police investigation.
They will be charged and if found guilty, can face life inprisonment in a Thai jail.
According to Dusadee, the two Malaysians were contracted to transport the drugs worth millions to a waiting unidentified person or persons in Hatyai, who would then take the package across the border to Penang.
He also disclosed that while under detention, the two men continued to receive phone calls from the syndicate members eager to seek information on the drugs.
"We have checked the telephone number and the calls were made from Penang," he said.
Upon knowing that the two men had been arrested and their effort to smuggle the drugs across the border had failed, the syndicate members sent chilling photos to the men, he said.
"They sent photos of the duo's tortured and beaten friends in Malaysia to show to them that it (the beatings) was the consequence of their failure to execute the mission successfully," he said.
Dusadee said the heroin was well packaged and it showed that the drugs would most probably be sent to a third country after reaching Penang.