File photo - A police officer stands guard near bags of methamphetamine pills during the 41th Destruction of Confiscated Narcotics ceremony in Ayutthaya province.

Bangkok -

A Thai court on Wednesday sentenced a man to death for trafficking 120 000 methamphetamine pills when he was a police officer.

The Bangkok Criminal Court found ex-senior sergeant major Pairoj Wongsrikaew guilty of possession of drugs with intent to sell.

Pairoj was arrested in January 2011 after highway police found 120 000 methamphetamine pills hidden in the back seat of his car while he was driving from Bangkok to Nakorn Sri Thammarat in southern Thailand.

Pairoj, who was forced to resign his police post, pleaded not guilty to the charge, claiming he was unaware that the drugs had been placed in the car.

“Claiming that he knew nothing of the pills runs counter to the nature of someone who had been a policeman for 21 years,” the court judges concluded in their guilty verdict, the Khao Sot newspaper reported.

Trafficking large quantities of drugs is a capital offense in Thailand, where executions are carried out by lethal injection. They are a rare occurrence, the latest being in 2009. - Sapa-dpa