Meth worth B2.6bn found in truckload of office furniture
published : 6 Jun 2018 at 14:51
writer: Aswin Wongnorkaew
LAMPANG: Thirteen million methamphetamine pills worth about 2.6 billion baht on the street were found hidden in a truckload of office furniture at a police checkpoint in Mae Phrik district late on Tuesday night.
It was the largest seizure ever of illicit drugs in this northern province, police said.
Narcotics suppression police and local officers manning a road checkpoint on Highway No 1 between Lampang and Tak ordered a 12-wheel truck with Chiang Rai licence plates with a tarpaulin covered load on the back to pull over for a search.
When they removed the tarpaulin they found a cargo of new sofas and office furniture.
There was a strange odour coming from the furniture, raising suspicions the truck was carrying illicit drugs. It was taken the nearby Mae Phrik checkpoint, where an X-rayed revealed a large, concealed secondary cargo.
When the furniture was unloaded, the officers found packages containing 13 million speed pills hidden inside more than 30 cabinets and beneath the truck, according to Pol Col Doi Wongphum, deputy commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, who led the search.
It was worth about 2.6 billion baht - or 200 baht a tablet.
The driver, Surasak Panthupan, 47, a native of Chiang Rai, was taken for interrogation. He told police he had been hired to drive the truck and the load of furniture to Ayutthaya province from a place near the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district. He claimed he was unaware there were drugs concealed in the truck.
He was held in police custody at Mae Phrik police station for further interrogation.
Some of the office cabinets containing illicit drugs. (Photo by Aswin Wongnorkaew)
(Photo by Aswin Wongnorkaew)
Packages of methamphetamine pills found inside office furniture on the back of the truck. (Photo by Aswin Wongnorkaew)