Drug smugglers killed in border clashes

Drug smugglers killed in border clashes

Police examine the smugglers' pickup truck, which crashed off the road in Chiang Rai's Mae Chan district during the clashes on Tuesday night. (Photo by Chinnapat Chaimol)
Police examine the smugglers' pickup truck, which crashed off the road in Chiang Rai's Mae Chan district during the clashes on Tuesday night. (Photo by Chinnapat Chaimol)

CHIANG RAI: Three drug smugglers were killed and one arrested in two clashes with security forces near the border on Tuesday night and a total of 400,000 methamphetamine pills and 7 kilogrammes of crystal meth were seized, police reported.

The first clash occurred about 9.30pm after a number of pickups and motorcycles were spotted crossing the border from Myanmar into Chiang Saen district.

A patrol of Narcotic Suppression Bureau police and soldiers of the Pha Muang Force followed them to an area near Ban Santhat on the side of the Chiang Saen-Chiang Rai by-pass. As they moved in for a search guards travelling with the convoy opened fire.

During the subsequent exchange of shots one smuggler was killed. Another was arrested. The dead man was identified only as Jalae, aged about 20, and the arrested man as Yapa Ja-ou, 18, of Ban San Khong in Chiang Rai's Mae Chan district.

The smugglers left behind a total of 250,000 methamphetamine pills and about 7kg of crystal meth, or ice, as they fled in a "greyish bronze" Toyota pickup in the direction of Mae Chan district.

About 10pm, the pickup was intercepted at a three-way junction near Ban Pha Tang in tambon Pa Tueng. The vehicle veered off the road as the smugglers opened fire at the officers. Both men in the vehicle were killed in the clash, which lasted about 15 minutes, police said.

They were identified as Peerapol Tamu, 19, and Khamchang Japo, 18.

Fifteen packages containing 150,000 meth pills in total and one 11mm pistol were found in the pickup.


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