Police have cracked down on a major gang linked to alleged Golden Triangle drug lord Nor Kham, seizing speed pills and assets worth about 500 million baht.
A combined force of officers from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and local police Tuesday raided five locations in three districts of Chiang Rai which were believed to have been used for storing the illegal drugs.
One of the spots searched was a house of 60-year-old Jamras Sompongpan, formerly known as Olarn Phajaroen, police said.
The suspect had long been wanted by police in previous drug cases and he was a key aide of Nor Kham, police said.
Nor Kham had previously confessed that his gang had murdered 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in October last year and Mr Jamras, his close aide, was the one who placed the drugs on board the boats, police said.
The Chinese sailors did not smuggle the drugs as previously thought, police said, citing Nor Kham's confession. Police continue to pursue Mr Jamras.
On Nov 6, a court in southwestern China sentenced Nor Kham and three members of his gang to death for murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in a case marking China's growing law enforcement role beyond its borders.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, two suspects - one of them a Lao national - were detained yesterday morning with 28,000 tablets of methamphetamine.
Pisitsak Chomchalao, 34, a Nakhon Phanom resident, and Zokzai Kaewmanee, 34, a Lao national, were stopped by police officers at a security checkpoint in the province's Sida district and had their urine tested for drugs.
The tests showed positive, prompting the officers to search their pickup truck and find the drugs hidden under the driver's seat, police said.
The two were charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell.
In Pattani province, a drug suspect was nabbed in a sting operation carried out in Yarang district early yesterday morning.
About 5am, Marobee Maero, 35, a Yarang district resident, showed up to deliver about 6,000 methamphetamine tablets to undercover border patrol police officers who were posing as customers.