PHUKET: Police in the northern Phuket area of Thalang yesterday raided and shut down a tropical fruit orchard that was also being used as a kratom-growing operation.
The orchard owner, named by police as Nathee Tianthong,50, had five kratom trees growing on his property – in his house police found 400 grams of harvested leaves.
All five trees were cut down and taken away in the back of a pickup truck.
Inside the house, police also found an illegally owned shotgun and six shotgun shells.
“Mr Nathee, who lives in Thalang, harvests kratom leaves and sells them,” said Thalang Police Superintendent Sirisak Wasasiri.
Kratom leaves, a mild narcotic, are used in the popular party cocktail “4x100”, which is created by mixing an extract from the leaves with cough syrup, cola and ice (story here).
Despite kratom trees being indigenous to Southeast Asia, their leaves have been considered a controlled substance, in the same category as cannabis, since promulgation of the Kratom Act in 1943. The law made planting the tree illegal and ordered all existing tress cut down (story here).
Mr Nathee was charged with the possession, sale and distribution of a class 5 narcotic, as well as for illegal possession of a firearm and matching ammunition.
Phuket Gazette - Saturday, February 9, 2013 9:00:35 AM
I would have added the pictures but the website would not allow me to save the pictures for some reason. There is a picture of the old man, the Kratom, and them cutting down the trees then hauling them off.