Fugitive Thai drug lord arrested despite multiple surgeries to become ‘handsome Korean man’

Fugitive Thai drug lord arrested despite multiple surgeries to become ‘handsome Korean man’
via Thailand National Police
Ryan General
February 27, 2023
A fugitive drug lord in Thailand who evaded authorities for months by transforming himself to pass as a Korean man was finally arrested by the local police in Bangkok on Thursday.
The 25-year-old suspect, identified as Saharat Sawangjaeng, underwent multiple plastic surgeries and adopted the alias “Jimin Cheong” to successfully elude arrest after being on the run since Dec. 2022.   
Sawangjaeng is accused of importing the psychoactive drug methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), commonly seen in tablet form (ecstasy) and crystal form (molly), from the Netherlands and other parts of Europe to Thailand. The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) considers him “one of the main causes of Bangkok’s MDMA epidemic.”

Investigators monitoring the movement of ecstasy to local distributors across Bangkok traced the drugs to what witnesses described as a “handsome Korean man.“
An undercover officer posing as a prospective drug mule eventually led to his arrest at a condominium in Bangkok’s Bang Na district. The officers were shocked to discover that the “Korean man” they arrested was the same man they arrested three times before as “none of his original face was left.”
In his previous arrest over an assault charge, police recovered 290 ecstasy pills and 4.4 pounds of narcotics in liquid form in his possession. He managed to escape detention and began altering his appearance to avoid arrest.
After being apprehended last week, Sawangjaeng told authorities that he was bored with his life in Thailand and wanted to start a new life by moving to South Korea. 
Upon questioning, the suspect admitted to using Bitcoin to purchase drugs on the Dark Web and selling them to local buyers in Bangkok. He has since been charged with the illegal importation of narcotics.
According to Thai police, Sawangjaeng’s arrest opens up the local investigation into more suspects from foreign countries involved in the illegal drug trade.
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