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Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong Nuchanart’s War on Crime: Thai Marine Police’s Struggle Against High Seas Smugglers

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Imagine the sun dipping below the horizon, casting its golden hues upon the sea. The gentle breeze hums a tune as it dances over the waves. On the surface, tranquility reigns supreme, but beneath the cloak of serenity, a hidden war rages – a war against daring criminals that ply their illicit trades across the boundless blues. In the heart of this silent struggle stands an unsung hero, the Thai Marine Police, led by the vigilant Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong Nuchanart.

With the poise of an orchestrated symphony, Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong remarkably orchestrated maneuvers reminiscent of cinematic high-seas adventures — but with a gritty edge of reality, readying his tactical force to swoop in on any hint of lawlessness at the very edges where land kisses water. December’s frosty air was not cold enough to quell the fiery spirit of the marine officers as they dominated the waves near Koh Si Chang in Chon Buri with their formidable patrol boats, staging a drill simulating a rampant drug trafficking opera right under the eagle-eyed supervision of the marine police chief himself.

But what are these exercises without real victories to accompany them? Like an astute chess master, Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong made his mark mere months after taking the helm in October. The spoils of his strategy were bountiful – over 23 million liters of diesel, untouched by the taxman’s grasp, and a staggering two tonnes of crystal methamphetamine, pulled straight from the realms of the sea.

In a story akin to modern-day piracy, officials swooped down upon more than a cathedral’s hold of bootleg diesel fuel destined for fishing boats that never saw the flicker of daylight. A corresponding treasure trove in fines — a jaw-dropping sum of 2.7 billion baht — was levied, painting a stern picture of justice on the high seas.

As November’s moon shone bright, a tip-off set the stage for another scene where 90 cardboard boxes chock-full of crystal meth, deceptively nestled among dried fruit, waited silently in a tugboat moored at Bang Pakong district’s pier. These stealthy crates, destined for unsuspecting lands like the Philippines and Australia, never made their final sail thanks to the watchful marine and narcotics suppression police.

Thirteen would-be marauders, all homegrown Thais, found their fates sealed by the law’s unyielding grasp. And as if asserting their prowess, Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong and his squad also staged a gripping drill on the island of Koh Lan, complete with dramatizations of drug busts, search and rescue missions, and close coordination with local authorities to ensure that not a soul — tourist or townsfolk — would be left at jeopardy’s pernicious hands.

With a refreshing gust, the Marine Police have hoisted their sails higher within the realms of Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB). Under this new leadership, coastal waters and ports are more than just stretches of blue; they are vital lifelines kept safe from the clandestine passages of drugs manufactured in distant, hidden lands.

There’s a poetic justice in Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong’s war against untaxed fuel as well. Strengthening the government’s resolve, a new operation centre has emerged from the foam, destined to be a bastion against the smuggled liquid gold that slips through the nation’s fingers.

The division’s celebrated taskforce, Matchanu, shares its name with a legend that epitomizes the ability to thrive on both land and sea. From probing the deep for evidence to guarding VIPs and being the beacon of hope in emergencies, Matchanu’s reach is as vast as the ocean’s depths.

Combating crime isn’t just an above-water affair. Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong knows that the key to unraveling many a mystery lies in the silent wrecks that rest beneath the waves. His team of 1,600 officers aboard 200 patrol boats is at the ready, a formidable force against the tumultuous tides of crime.

The leader of this formidable troop is no stranger to diverse challenges. With his roots deeply entrenched in a family of law enforcers, Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong’s journey through the ranks of tourism to anti-corruption, and from the highways to the high seas, is nothing short of an odyssey — all underpinned by a solid grounding in law.

Yet, it is in the shadowed corridors of lesser-known battles that Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong’s unit shines brightest — collaborating with both homegrown agencies and international allies, perpetually honing their blades against the whetstone of complex, cross-border crime.

As the narrative of their success unwrites itself upon the waves, one thing stands clear above the roar of the ocean: Pol Maj Gen Phruttiphong and his marine police are charting a course where diligence meets duty, and where every ripple in the water might just be the prelude to the next great maritime saga.

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