Phuket, Thailand — Thai drug police have arrested an American wanted for trafficking in the United States in a highly secret operation in Phuket on Wednesday night, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Joseph Manuel Hunter, 47, was arrested at the Phuket Country Club after being pointed out to police by U.S. officials at the golf club.
After his arrest, police then rounded up five more suspects connected to his case, say reports.
They were seized by police from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau and taken to Bangkok for further questioning.
A warrant for Mr. Hunter’s arrest was issued by a New York Southern District Court in July, said a Thai police spokesman.
He had been in Thailand since September 6. The U.S. embassy had been advised of his trip to Thailand and contacted Thai authorities.
Sources said Thai authorities had worked with U.S. officials in the highly classified operation. Phuket police and officials were not informed of the operation, added the sources.
According to an Associated Press report, the nationalities of the other five suspects were two Brits, a Slovak, a Filipino, and a Taiwanese.
The AP report described Hunter as a “leading drug lord” wanted for various international crimes, and said the drug gang was a big network that spanned several countries.
The AP also quoted a Thai police authority as saying all the suspects arrested had military training and were “trained to kill”. Image/Immigration police/thephuketnews.com