A woman has been arrested after at least 12 people died from a ketamine cocktail in Thailand that was sold over Facebook.
Sirikarn Chuaketkam, 23, allegedly supplied the deadly mixture of horse tranquiliser, heroin, crystal meth and sleeping pills to revellers in Bangkok at the weekend.
However, at least 12 people who took the ‘k powdered milk’ substance were found dead on Sunday morning.
They included model Sutthinee Mettajit, 24, and strip club dancer Panipak Chantawarawarak, 21, who was found dead alongside her boyfriend.
Officers began investigating and on Tuesday arrested Sirikarn at her home in Bangkok. She allegedly had 8.1 grams of the video on her.
She allegedly confessed that she had purchased the drug from her boyfriend for 470 Baht (11.45 GBP) per gram and sold it at 600 Baht 14.60GBP) per gram to people over the controversial social networking site, Facebook.
Inspector Sumrid Vinitraksa from the Sai Mai District police station said Sirikarn has been detained in custody.
He said: ‘The suspect was interrogated for two hours and will appear at Minburi Provincial Court. This is a new drug that we are trying to find the origin of.’
Thailand’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau commissioner said the ‘new drug’ had originally been developed by users for their own use but it had spread onto the wider market.
At least 12 people, including a stripper and a model, were found dead after taking a rogue batch of killer ketamine in Thailand.
The revellers had bought the substance – nickname ‘powdered milk’ – from a suspected dealer in Bangkok over the weekend.
Those who died the toxic cocktail were knocked out and did not regain consciousness.
One of the dead people was coyote dancer, Panipak Chantawarawarak, 21, who was found dead on Sunday (Jan 10) morning in the Patpong red-light district area of the capital.
Her devastated aunty, Sarinthip Darathip, 41, said: ‘My relative works in Patpong as a dancer. She was renting the room with her boyfriend but I didn’t know she liked to take drugs. I’m shocked. It’s so sad.”
Another of the dead girls, Sutthinee Mettajit, 24, worked as a model and was found dead alongside a female friend, who was also dead, in the Sathorn area of the capital.
Police began investigating the deaths while tracing the alleged dealer, who is believed to have supplied it to people partying on Saturday night.
Lieutenant Jirayu Piturakwong from the Phraya Krai Temple Police Station said: ‘The symptoms in each case are very similar. Each person has been taken to the hospital for a forensic examination to show what the substance was and to find the cause of the death. One of the victims is in a critical condition and we will interview him if he is stable, to get more information.’
Police said that coyote dancer Panipak died from the drug while the man she was with, Touchchai Klomjai, 22, was unconscious and taken to hospital and remains in a critical condition.
There were white stains on their mouth and nose which looks like it came from the Ketamine drug. They also found a package of a powdery substance which also looks like it is the powdered milk drug. There was also a straw next to it.
Police said that Sutthinee, the model, was with her friend, named only as ‘Mine’, and they had taken the drug together. Sutthinee was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital but was later declared dead along with her friend.
One man, age 20, was also found dead at a home in Charoenrat Road while another woman who works at a bar in Ratchadapisek, also died.
The woman’s boyfriend said: ‘She came home looking drunk then woke up to say something, then fell asleep. I could not wake her again.’
Police said that in all the cases a white, powdery- looking substance was found near the victims.
Natchapong Saeso, a paramedic, said that he had attended three deaths related to the drug on January 10.
He said the drug is called ‘K powdered milk’, or ‘K Nomphong’ in the local language, because of its appearance and the drowsiness caused when taking it.
Natchapong said: ‘I have received three cases of people dying in one day. One of the things I found is that they all had black mouths when I found them.’
Officers said that the drug was a mixture of the horse tranquiliser ketamine, heroin, sleeping pills and methamphetamine. Three chemicals used in lethal injections – sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride – were also reportedly discovered in the mixture.
The drug had reportedly been spreading though several parts of Bangkok and the neighbouring province of Pathum Thani.
After taking the drug, users can get symptoms of shock, fogginess, delusions, and mania. Some of them can faint immediately after use.