The Mekong River and the Golden Triangle

Manhunt Scours Laos for Accomplices in ‘Mr. X’ Drug Ring

Lao and Thai authorities have launched a manhunt for five people believed to be part of a major drug gang that operated in Mekong River region, according to Thai authorities.

The authorities say they captured four people who are suspected of being members of a drug-dealing operation controlled by Xaysana Keopimpha, but five more people are believed to be on the run in Laos.

“[We] sent information to the Lao side to investigate, and the Lao Drug National Control and Suppression Department is the lead agency,” said Sirinya Sitdhichai, secretary-general of the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) at the today’s press conference.

Sitdhichai said they got a break in the case after police in Laos recently arrested a suspected drug dealer there. That suspect was not named.

The authorities also announced that they had seized Xaysana’s assets in the Lao provinces of the Lao provinces of Khammuan and Vientiane.

Xaysana, 41, was arrested at the on Jan. 19 at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after arriving from Phuket after a five-year long investigation by Thai and Lao authorities.

Authorities say Xaysana was supplying caffeine-laced meth tablets known as ‘yaba’ produced in Myanmar throughout the region.

Full story:

Reported and translated by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Brooks Boliek.

Copyright © 1998-2017, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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