Authorities captured a Thai drug lord in late February despite the fugitive’s attempts to use plastic surgery to pass as “a handsome Korean man” in order to escape capture.
Police were on the hunt for Saharat Sawangjaeng, 25, for three months before catching up with him at a Bangkok condominium complex, according to BBC.
Law enforcement officers who took part in the arrest said “none of [Sawangjaeng’s] original face was left” but that they managed to track him down through his distribution network, the outlet noted. The Bangkok Post reported that the arrest came after one of Sawangjaeng’s drug runners runners failed to conceal his movements.
Witnesses reportedly described Saharat, who was using the alias Seong Jimin, as a “handsome Korean man,” BBC noted. He told police he was “bored of his Thailand” and planned to move to South Korea “to start a new life,” according to the outlet.
(Thailand) – A Thai Drug Dealer, Saharat Sawangjaeng, Underwent Several Facial Plastic Surgeries To Look Like “A Handsome Korean Man” To Evade The Law
— ShuttleTV (@shuttletvnews) February 27, 2023
Since his arrest, Saharat has been charged with the illegal import of narcotics, BBC continued. He has also admitted to buying MDMA — commonly called “ecstasy” — over the dark web. This is Sahart’s fourth arrest. His previous entanglements with law enforcement include an assault charge, as well as being caught with 290 ecstasy pills and 4.4lbs of liquid narcotics.
Saharat managed to escape detention, after which he underwent the extensive facial surgeries to avoid an ongoing investigation, BBC reported. He’s been described by the Thai Police Major General Theeradej Thammasutee as “one of the main causes of Bangkok’s MDMA epidemic.” (RELATED: ‘Take Turns’: New York City Public Health Poster Says Doing Drugs Is Fine If Done Safely)
“He is a drug lord importing MDMA from Europe at just 25 years old. We believe there are more suspects in foreign countries. We will continue our investigation,” Thammasutee continued.