Andre Cabau, 39, was arrested for entering Thailand with a fake French passport and will be deported to continue serving a sentence in France on drug trafficking charges, Thai and French police said at a news conference.
He fled to Thailand, and entered most recently in 2013 on a fake passport, police said. He was living in Thailand under a fake name, Andre Donatho, with a Thai wife and young child on the resort island of Koh Samui, said police Maj. Gen Apichart Suribunya. He also had a luxury apartment in central Bangkok, where he was arrested Nov. 20.
French authorities worked with Interpol to track him and then alerted Thai police, Occhini said. Cabau’s network smuggled cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into France, according to a statement from Thai police.
“He’s a big fish,” said Catherine Occhini, a French police attache at the French Embassy in Bangkok. “He was a big trafficker and specialized in moving drugs around Europe.” Cabau, who was arrested in 2005 in the French city of Marseille, was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released early on parole that required him to remain in France, Occhini said. “Their actions copied the famous movies “Fast and Furious,” where they used high-speed cars to transport the drugs,” said Thai police Gen. Wut Liptapanlop. To emphasize the parallel, police showed a video clip of an apparently unrelated high-speed car chase. Cabau sat handcuffed at the news conference and told reporters, “Yes, I admit that I used high-speed cars.” “This case is important to us,” Occhini said.
She declined to say whether Cabau was being investigated for trafficking in Thailand.
Occhini said the network was highly organized and worked at night, using fleets of powerful cars to speed the contraband across Europe’s open borders. Often, a scouting car would do a fast test drive past a police customs control point and then alert other drivers carrying drugs that the coast was clear, she said.