PHUKET: The New Year began badly today for six men who were nabbed and accused of being part of a large Phuket City drugs ring.
Two of the men - arrested in the early hours carrying handguns - still had Songkran powder on their faces and hands when hauled to face the media this morning.
A well-planned raid saw police arrest Pramin Narksuwan and Saman Inrung in the car park of Sakdidet Mansion in Vichit, south of Phuket City, about 2am today.
Both men, aged 31, were carrying loaded handguns, but no drugs. Police then ordered them to call in one at a time three dealers, who were told to bring their cash and drugs.
One by one between 2am and 4am, police nabbed Anurat Potong, 29, Montree Srichame, 33, and Samphan Chupol, 43. The sixth man arrested was Sairuj Kanjankul, 29, described as a ''customer.''
In total, the police haul included 83,000 baht, 1158 ya bah methamphetamine tabs, 30.32 grams of ya ice, a small hand-held weighing device, several mobile telephones and the two handguns, with ammunition.
The six men were brought from the cells at Phuket City Police Station linked by a long chain.
Khun Pramin, first in the line and with Songkran powder still on his face, objected when forced by his position on the chain to take the first seat in front of the seized drugs.
''The gun is mine, not the drugs,'' he said. ''I want to sit in front of the gun,'' he said. It was too late to change the chain order.
The men have all confessed and are expected to appear in Phuket Provincial Court before lunch.