A woman suspected of selling the same type of drug cocktail linked to a spate of deaths in Bangkok’s underground nightlife scene was arrested early this morning in the capital’s northern outskirts.
Sirikarn Chuakhetgum, 23, was arrested at her Sai Mai district home by vice cops acting on a tip that the area is the source of so-called K Powdered Milk, a blend of ketamine, heroin, speed and sleeping pills blamed for at least seven deaths this past weekend around Suan Phlu and Rama III roads.
“This is the first case of K Powdered Milk at the station, so we can’t tell right away what’s in the mix of the ketamine we got,” Sai Mai Police inspector Sumrid Vinitraksa told Coconuts Bangkok this morning of the drugs seized from Sirikarn. Capt. Sumrid said they were awaiting results from the national police lab.
The police did not allege any direct link between Sirikarn and the deaths of four women and three men whose bodies were found Sunday.
Sirikarn told Sai Mai police that she got the cocktail blend from a male friend in the northern metro badlands of Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district. She said she paid THB470 (US$16) per gram for resale online via Facebook at THB600 per gram. She had been selling the drug for some time, police said.
The drug mix was also found to contain the same three chemicals commonly used in lethal injections: sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
Asked if that could point to something more sinister than a bad batch of drugs, Kasetsart University chemistry professor with knowledge of the case told Coconuts Bangkok that was not necessarily the case. Weerachai Phutdhawong said the compounds are also commonly found in medications such as sleeping pills, which are part of the K Powdered Milk formula.
He added that a ketamine side effect is narrowing the windpipe, which can cause difficulty breathing. He said data indicates that pancuronium bromide could easily stop breathing as its normally used to suppress the reaction during intubation, or being placed on a ventilator.
Local Sai Mai political aide Ekkaphop Luengprasert speculated yesterday that K Powdered Milk became more widespread recently due to a shortage of pure ketamine on the market.
Most of the weekend’s deaths involved couples, and there has been speculation the drug’s blend up uppers and downers and psychotropic agents make it some kind of sex thing.
Ekkaphop said it can be fatal in those of weaker constitutions.
“If healthy people sniff this, the blend will make them crazy for three to four days, but it will knock out the weak after sniffing,” he said. “So far, tens of people have been admitted to hospitals, but fatalities were just reported [yesterday].”
Sirikarn has been charged with illegal possession of a Class II narcotic with intent to sell.