Thai Drug Dealer's Plastic Surgery Disguise As 'Korean Man' Exposed By Police
Thai drug dealers' plastic surgery disguise as Korean man exposed by police. Thai authorities recently apprehended a drug smuggler who had been on the run for months by disguising himself as a "Korean man." The man, who went by the name Jimin Seong, was initially described as a "good-looking Korean man" with wavy hair and smooth skin.
However, after police raided his condo, the suspect's true identity was revealed. His real name is Saharat Sawanjaeng, a 25-year-old Thai national who had undergone multiple plastic surgeries to completely alter his appearance.
Saharat has been a wanted criminal since last year for allegedly importing more than 2,500 grams and 290 tablets of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or molly, into Thailand. According to police, he is one of the major sources of drug spreading in Bangkok and the capital city's surrounding area. The police had received rumors of the drugs being traced back to a Korean dealer, prompting their investigation.
After his arrest, Saharat allegedly confessed to having "worldwide connections," sourcing drugs from the dark web, and making transactions through Bitcoin. He reportedly spoke "very little Korean," but wanted to live in South Korea because he was "bored" with life in Thailand.
The dramatic transformation of Saharat's appearance using plastic surgery shocked the police, and they released before-and-after photos of the suspect. The photos show a significant change in his facial features, and earlier photos bear little resemblance to the man pictured afterward.
Saharat's actions "impacted national security and the general public's safety" by causing the drug to become "widespread in public," the police release added. He is now being charged with importing and illegally distributing a category 1 drug into Thailand, which are offenses carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Thailand, like most of Southeast Asia, has traditionally had strict laws against drug use and trafficking. However, it has taken several steps in relaxing these rules in recent years. One significant legal amendment in 2017 changed the maximum punishment for selling drugs from the death penalty to life imprisonment.
More sweeping amendments came in 2021, emphasizing prevention and treatment over punishment for small-scale drug users. In a notable move, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis last year, with cannabis cafes and smoke shops quickly popping up across the country.
In the case of Saharat, the use of plastic surgery to avoid capture shows the lengths that some criminals will go to evade the authorities. His capture highlights the need for continued vigilance in drug enforcement and the use of new technologies and techniques to counter these crimes.