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An expat chose Phuket for his large drugs run, say police

Phuket Police Nab Expat at Airport 'With Four Kilos of Cocaine'

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
A SWISS expat resident of Thailand has been arrested and charged with bringing in four kilos of cocaine via Phuket International Airport, police sources said today.

It's believed to be among the largest hauls of the drug seized on Phuket. Phuketwan understands that the man - named as Peter Balmer, 47 - is a 13-year resident of Thailand who eventually simply ran out of money.

Details remain sketchy, but Phuketwan understands from sources that Mr Balmer examined his options and chose to make $7000 as an international drug courier by flying to Bolivia, where he collected the cocaine.

Mr Balmer was supposed to contact a man at Phuket airport who would be carrying a sign with his name, police have been told. But he was arrested inside Phuket airport, before he could make the connection.

It's understood that police from Tachatchai station, which oversees security at Phuket airport, made the arrest yesterday evening, acting on a tip-off.

Mr Balmer, believed to have returned to Thailand from Bolivia via the Middle East, may have been told that Phuket was a ''softer'' arrival option, hoping his contraband might not be found.

There was no-one with a ''PETER BALMER'' sign waiting outside the airport. The cocaine is estimated to have a street value of 20 million baht.

Yesterday's airport haul raises questions about the scale of drugs-running through Phuket. Cocaine appears to be the drug of choice among tourists and expat residents, despite the heavy penalties for its use and sale.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Oh man what is this thinking?...there has to be better ways to make money for yourself.

Posted by sky on May 10, 2011 20:33

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He might not be thinking it now but Mr Balmer should consider himself very lucky that Thaksin is still not in power as he would have been shot dead as was the case just a few years ago. I have no sympathy for this man or any other caught trading drugs in Phuket. Having lived here for nine years and watching the steady decline, the rapid rise in drugs on the island show the type of people Phuket is now attracting and an often asked question to me by our new breed of tourists is "where can I get drugs"? This was never the case just a few years ago, lets hope the police catch a few more of these people and make the punishment fit the crime, then we might rid ourselves of this scum and let the island return to the beautiful place it once was.

Posted by Neil A on May 10, 2011 23:49

Editor Comment:

The cause of the problem, Neil, seems to be western decline. Even rich ''quality'' tourists have bad habits. Has any expat ever been executed for selling drugs in Thailand? I don't think so. But given the possibility, people are foolish to try to compete to be first.

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Firstly a big well done to authorities for catching this scum bag. I hope Balmer's remaining time spent in the BK Hilton and Thailand will be a very scary one. He knew what he was doing, Four kg is or should be a death sentence load. No sympathy for this bloke his crime can't be justified under any circumstances. I wonder who tipped of the man with the sign mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Posted by Scunner on May 11, 2011 01:02

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His real estate business has been suffering for a long while and i guess this is the result of the desperation.

Believe me, the expat timeshare guy caught last week let the big cat out of the bag.

Good police work, err i mean, good informant.

Posted by Glen on May 11, 2011 06:16

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A tip off and no one waiting outside for him.
Sounds like someone with a much larger haul got through.

Posted by Joel M on May 11, 2011 06:20

Editor Comment:

Oh, sure. Where do you get these theories from, Joel?

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"chose to make $7000 as an international drug courier by flying to Bolivia" - answered a job advert in Phuketwan?
Who believes this? The old 'I was only a mule/courier' excuse; 13yrs here he'd be fully aware of consequences and $7000 (what currency btw?) would only last a few months. Of course there was no man with a sign - a fiction.
No mercy.

Posted by Ming on May 11, 2011 06:50

Editor Comment:

The currency is THE dollar. If it was the Singapore dollar, it would be $S, Hong Kong $HK or Australian $A.

Your slur on Phuketwan is pathetic, Ming. Take your insults, guesswork and multiple user identities somewhere else.

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Is life in Phuket really that wonderful that you would rather smuggle drugs than go back home?

Posted by Michael on May 11, 2011 07:46

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20 million baht value for 4 keys.. Or 5k a gram at retail ??

Try half that.

Posted by LivinLOS on May 11, 2011 11:33

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20 million baht value for 4 keys.. Or 5k a gram at retail ??

Try half that.

It would be cut with other crap to make it go further. Dealers don't sell pure product :)

Not that it matters...

Posted by Mike Hunt on May 11, 2011 17:22


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