Huge drug haul after border clash

More than one million methamphetamine pills were seized after a clash between a drug suppression patrol of the Pha Muang Force and smugglers in Mae Chan district of Chiang Rai province last night, police said.

  • Published: 24/04/2013 at 12:53 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The encounter occurred about 500 metres from a police checkpoint at Ban Kiew Satai in tambon Pa Tueng of Mae Chan district.

One trafficker, identified as Jala Jalo, 26, a native of Chiang Rai, was wounded in the fight and arrested with a sack containing 120,000 speed pills.

Jala said he and 11 other smugglers, each with a sack of methamphetamine pills, were travelling on a pick-up truck, delivering the drugs to clients in Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai.

Before reaching the police checkpoint, they were stopped for a search by the Pha Muang Force patrol. The traffickers opened fire at the soldiers and the two groups exchanged shots for about five minutes.

Jala, who was trying to flee, was wounded and arrested right after the clash. The other traffickers escaped on the pick-up truck.

Police from Mae Chan district scoured the scene on Wednesday morning and recovered seven green bags with a total of one million speed pills.

A member of the Pha Muang Force said the traffickers were believed to be membrs of a gang led by Lt-Col Yise of the Black Muser tribe.

The gang is known to have been hired to transport all kinds of drugs from Doi Samsao near Muang Yon, a major methamphetamine production base run by the United Wa State Army, or Red Wa, in Myanmar, across the border from Mae Fa Luang and Mae Chan districts of Chiang Rai.

Villages on the Thai side of the border used by the gang for storing the drugs before delivering them to inner parts of the country include Kiew Satai, Ruam Jai, Saen Mai, Jakona, Heko and Loyo, the Pha Muang officer said.

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