ScandAsia was given a first row opportunity to talk to the Swedish drug manufacturing suspect Kim Roger Eriksson on Thursday at the Narcotics Supression Division’s Head Quarters in Bangkok because the police needed an interpreter and one readily available was ScandAsia’s Gregers Moller, who had only minutes before been refused entry as a journalist.
“If you can translate from Thai to Swedish for us you can come along, but you must leave your camera bag outside, “ he was told.
So while we were served pizza and Pepsi on the working desks of the narcotics police officers there was plenty of time to ask Kim, what this was all about.
“I was on my way back to Sweden with my wife and our little daughter to serve the time in prison I had been called home for,” Kim explained.
“I produced steroids back in Sweden and I was going to serve a sentence for that,” he elaborated.
He is handcuffed and in his civilian clothes including a tight t-shirt showing his strong shoulders and biceps.
“Now my wife will postpone the departure until she knows more of what will happen to me. The prison in Sweden will also have to be informed why I cannot show up as ordered.”
Kim says his mother Åsa Eriksson knows his wife Awatsada Sirawan, so he is sure that she will be taken good care of.
“We registered our marriage both in Sweden and in Thailand. But we decided to divorce in Thailand for practical reasons but not in Sweden where she would get public support as my wife while while I served my sentence.”
Kim was especially upset about a mysterious man he only knew as “Thomas.” He had met this guy while he was still back in Sweden about two years ago.
“I was interested in learning how to produce the drug “Ice” and he offered to teach me. He then suggested that it would be better to do this in Thailand. He had just been teaching me for two days how to do – and I had been filming it on video so I would be able to remember. Then he said he would go and pick up his girlfriend – and half an hour later the police stormed in. It is a bit too much of a coincidence!” Kim says.
Kim says he doesn’t know “Thomas” last name. He was Swedish. He should not be mistaken with his boss Thomas Nilsson of the company DNTS Construction Co. Ltd known in Sweden as Thai Hem. This “Thomas” was most likely the person who had tipped off the American Drug Enforcement Agency of the laboratory. Apart from that he could only guess.
“I have difficulty in believing Thomas was the Swedish police officer that the DEA mentions has been involved in the investigation – Swedish police officers don’t teach how to produce ice just to nail somebody?! My only contact to the Hells Angels in Sweden is a member who is in “bad standing” – but I also don’t think that would enough for them to set me up like this,” he speculates.
The first interrogation he went through was conducted by the three American officers from the DEA immediately after the arrest.
“They told me they had kept me under surveillance for over a year. They asked a lot about my connections to the Hells Angels. They also asked about Chinese contacts. I unlocked one of the computers that they confiscated for them to show them what files was on it,” he explains.
Then the DEA left him to the Thai police to take over. They want him to help open up an Apple Mac laptop with encryption of the hard disk and a password lock, but he refuses to do this until they call back the DEA officers.
“I want to ask them more about “Thomas”, he says.
“I told them about him and urged them to find him but they didn’t seem to be interested in him at all. If he was their informer, I understand why!”
After the dramatic arrest on Wednesday evening, which involved over one hundred police officers – some in bullet proof vests and black helmets – he was taken to Bangkok where he had another apartment and from there he was finally taken to the Head Quarters of the Drug Suppression Division of the the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok where he slept on the floor that night.
Now it was Thursday afternoon and the detectives of the division were getting ready to officially interrogate him for the first time.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wittaya, who is assigned in charge of the investigation, asked for a starter Kim to acknowledge the arrest report written by the arresting officer. The report included a list of all the 46 items that were confiscated in the laboratory. As some of these items mentioned the word “amphetamine” Kim decided to refuse to sign the report.
“The police is jumping to conclusions! The laboratory report has not yet stated what chemical was in the glass containers, we have to wait for that,” he said and that was then noted down.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wittaya then concentrated on ensuring that he understood his rights. Kim said had not yet selected a lawyer, but he would soon. He would not contact the Embassy as he didn’t think they could do anything for him. And he understood that he didn’t have to reply anything but if he said something it could be held against him in court. Listening in on the interrogation was also a police lawyer to witness that he was not forced to state or admit to anything against his own will.
Kim was told that if he pleaded guilty, the court would be more lenient in the sentence than if he was sentenced despite denying the charges against him.
“I will not plead guilty,” Kim replied.
“I want to put my defense together with my lawyer with the evidence that I have that I did not know if this other man was producing drugs in the laboratory.”
The interrogation then went on for about one hour, jumping from simple questions like if he had any sisters and brothers – he has one little sister – to the name of the school that he graduated from – which was Timrå Gymnasium – to core questions like if he was the owner of the laboratory items – which he confirmed he was.
“I have a license to produce liquid soap. I bought the laboratory equipment and the chemicals so that the other man could teach me how to produce liquid soap.”
Going through other confiscated material, some company papers showed that he was employed by Mr. Thomas Nilsson of the company DNTS Construction Co., Ltd. – in Sweden better known as Thai Hem. He said he was paid 100.000 baht per month as a supervisor of the houses under construction for the Swedish customers. Another item was a land title of 8000 square meters which he said belonged to his wife. The big wristwatch was his own – he had bought in Sweden for 70.000 Euro, he said. That figure derailed the interrogation for several minutes while the officer tried to calculate how much that would be in Thai Baht – a stunning amount – and the clock then passed hands among the officers before it was put back into the brown bag.
“Will it now disappear?” Kim asked with a dry smile.
“No,” the officer replied dryly. “If you are convicted you will get these items back again after you have served your sentence, but we keep them so far for further investigation.”
Finally, the interrogation was over. Kim listened to a resume of what the report said to ensure that all that was noted down there was true to his explanation. He then signed it and was led off to sleep his last night at the HQ of the Narcotics police as he would the next morning be presented to the judge and taken into custody for another 12 days in the Bangkok Remand Prison generally known as Klong Prem.