Woman held for selling drugs online

Provincial Police Region 4 officers put on display a large quantity of prescription drugs being sold online illegally by a female pharmacist in Udon Thani. The police seized the drugs as well as sex toys at a house in Muang district. Jakkrapan Nathanri

Udon Thani: A pharmacist in this upper northeastern province has been nabbed in a police sting operation which found her illegally selling prescription medicines that can be abused to sexually assault women.

The 31-year-old suspect was found to be selling Alparazolam via a website which also illegally traded sex toys, police said yesterday after a recent raid on her store and house in Muang district.

Waraphon Kongchana was arrested at her pharmacy which police believe is a front while she illegally sells the products online.

Investigators spent weeks monitoring her activities before asking Udon Thani Provincial court to issue a search warrant.

Their operation ended up with the confiscation of a large amount of various medicines, Provincial Police Region 4 chief Surachai Khuantechakhup said.

They found up to 30,000 pills of Alparazolam (1 mg).

The drug is usually used to treat anxiety disorders and is under strict control to prevent harmful effects on health as well as potential sexual abuse, as it can be slipped into drinks.

“The suspect confessed to the wrongdoing,” Pol Lt Gen Surachai said, estimating her act led to damages worth more than two million baht.

Earlier, police posed as customers buying products displayed on the website.

When the officers examined the parcels that were delivered, details of the sender indicated they were mailed from Japan.

However, a further investigation found they were sent from Udon Thani’s Muang district and the sender was Ms Waraphon.

She hired an expert to run the website and other people to open three bank accounts for financial transactions and had up to one million in circulation.

She took deliberate steps to hide her identity and avoid police detection, Pol Lt Gen Surachai said.

The investigators also found that Ms Waraphon was punished for a similar offence by the Pharmacy Council of Thailand in 2014.

During the raid, police also seized several thousand tablets of other drugs including Valium (Diazepam 5 mg), Rohyonol (Flunitrazepam 1 mg), Rivotril (Clonazepam 2mg) and Prenarpil (Clonazepam 2mg) during the raid.

Ms Waraphon’s wrongdoing is just one illegal business in the region, he said.

“Officers believe there are many other illegal websites based in the upper North East,” such as those offering the driving licences and forging education certificates, Pol Lt Gen Surachai said.