The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is offering assistance to a New Zealander arrested in Thailand for attempting to sell crystal meth.
Garry Halpin was arrested and allegedly had 18 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in his pocket, and drug-related equipment, including scales, in Phuket on Saturday night, the Phuket News reported.
The 52-year-old former Aucklander, who has lived in Thailand for 15 years, was busted in a police sting operation during a deal in a room at the Chalong Villa Resort and Spa.
The deal was set up by a 25-year-old Thai man who had previously been caught by police for drug possession.
The man said Halpin had bought crystal meth from him with the intention to sell it to tourists and teenagers.
The consul at the New Zealand embassy in Bangkok had contacted Thai police about speaking to Halpin and offering consular assistance, a Mfat spokesman said.
Halpin could face life imprisonment if convicted of the charges.
The death penalty is also available for drug trafficking in Thailand.
Halpin told tourism news website Phuketwan today he had not signed a statement or made a confession, nor had he ever sold drugs to tourists.
He was likely to appear in court tomorrow.