'Leader' of smuggling ring nabbed
A man has been arrested in Kanchanaburi and charged with running a drug trafficking ring after more than three million methamphetamine pills were seized in Chiang Rai last month.
The Immigration Bureau (IB) on Tuesday announced the arrest of the man, identified only as Prasarn, 29, at a resort in Kanchanaburi's Muang district on Nov 5.
Police linked Mr Prasarn to the trafficking of 3.03 million meth pills seized at a roadside checkpoint in the early hours of Oct 6 in Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai province.
The bureau was tipped off on Oct 5 about plans to smuggle a large consignment of meth pills over the border into Thailand via Mae Sai and Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai, commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang said.
The police set up a roadside checkpoint to intercept a Toyota pickup truck which was taking the Ban Pa Thon-Ban Pa Sak Noi Road. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop when he was flagged down by police, prompting a chase.
Police shot out the tyres of the pickup, whose driver fled after skidding off the road.
A search of the vehicle revealed 11 sacks containing more than three million meth pills as well as 40 kilogrammes of crystal meth, or ya ice.
Police expanded their probe and identified Mr Prasarn as head of the smuggling ring, before an arrest warrant was issued on Oct 16.
Investigators traced him to the Kanchanaburi resort where he was holidaying with friends. He was charged in connection with the drugs seized and detained by Chiang Rai police.