BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police said they have arrested two men from Thailand and Taiwan suspected of smuggling more than 3 tons of marijuana from Laos for shipment to Australia.
Border Patrol Police official Prapan Chan-em announced that police seized 3,155 kilograms (6,940 pounds) of marijuana on Sunday from a warehouse in Chonburi, 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
He said Monday that police were tipped off last month that the marijuana was being smuggled into northeastern Thailand from Laos to be sent to the warehouse, where it would be vacuum-sealed and sent to Australia labeled as rubber gloves.
Prapan said a 44-year-old Thai and a 64-year-old Taiwanese were arrested at the warehouse, which he said had been operating for nine years as a front for drug smuggling. He said the business was jointly run by Thais and Taiwanese.
Possession of more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of marijuana is defined as intent to sell and is punishable by two to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1.5 million baht ($42,860). Police estimated the value of the seized marijuana at 100 million baht ($2.9 million) in Thailand, and 309 million baht ($8.8 million) in overseas markets.
It was apparently the biggest seizure of marijuana by Thai authorities since May 2014, when about 5 tons was seized at a warehouse in the Bangkok suburb of Pathum Thani after being smuggled from Laos for shipment to Europe and Australia.