Cops Arrest Suspect in Thai 'Face/Off' Case

Alleged drug dealer had plastic surgery to look like 'handsome Korean man'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2023 5:23 PM CST
Cops Arrest Suspect in Thai 'Face/Off Case
Police released these two mugshots of the suspect, taken months apart.   (Thailand National Police)

A suspected drug dealer in Thailand not only changed his name to a Korean name, he changed his face to a Korean face in an effort to evade authorities, police say. In what the Thai media has dubbed the Face/Off case, Saharat Sawangjaeng was arrested in Bangkok last week, the BBC reports. Police say the suspect, who had been on the run for three months, was using the name Seong Jimin and had undergone so much plastic surgery that "none of his original face was left." Police say he was caught with hundreds of MDMA pills and 2 kilograms of the drug in liquid form months ago, but he managed to escape detention.

The suspect underwent surgery after the escape but continued selling drugs and was tracked down after police tracked distribution of the drug to lower-level dealers. Police say witnesses described Saharat as a "handsome Korean man." He confessed to buying MDMA, aka esctacy, on the dark web, using cryptocurrency to pay for it, the Bangkok Post reports. Police Major-General Theeradej Thammasutee described the suspect as "one of the main causes of Bangkok's MDMA epidemic," saying he is "a drug lord importing MDMA from Europe at just 25 years old."

(More Thailand stories.)

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