8.6m meth pills seized at northern checkpoints

8.6m meth pills seized at northern checkpoints

Suspicious pickup owner asks police to examine cargo

The 8.6 million meth pills seized at three police checkpoints on Jan 14-15 in Phrae, Chiang Rai and Lampang provinces, on display at a press conference at the Provincial Police Region 5 headquarters in Chiang Mai on Wednesday. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)
The 8.6 million meth pills seized at three police checkpoints on Jan 14-15 in Phrae, Chiang Rai and Lampang provinces, on display at a press conference at the Provincial Police Region 5 headquarters in Chiang Mai on Wednesday. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)

CHIANG MAI: A total of 8.6 methamphetamine pills were seized by police at checkpoints in three northern provinces, Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner Pol Lt Gen Piya Tawichai said on Wednesday.

On Jan 14, about 6.30pm, police from Huai Rai in Denchai district of Phrae province manning an x-ray checkpoint examined an Isuzu pickup at the owner's request and found 12 foam boxes containing about 2.3 million meth pills hidden under boxes of vegetables, he told reporters.

The pickup owner, who was not identified, told police he was hired for 6,000 baht by a man called Eksamrong to pick up 30 foam boxes of vegetables from a house near the central sports stadium in Chiang Rai and deliver them to Samrong Nua district in Samut Prakan.

During the journey he became suspicious of the cargo and in Phrae province told the driver to stop at the Huay Rai checkpoint. There, he asked police to x-ray the cargo. The scan revealed 12 of the 30 foam boxes did not contain vegetables. A closer check found they held meth pills.

The investigation was proceeding,  Pol Lt Gen Piya said.

About 8.30pm on Jan 14, drug suppression police stopped a Mitsubishi Pajero and a Toyota Revo pickup at Moo 3 village on the Khun Tan-Phayapipak road in tambon Yang Hom in Khun Tan district, Chiang Rai province.

In the SUV police found 30 bags containing about 6 million meth pills in total. Three men were arrested  - Tong Sae Sow, 25, from Phayao's Phu Sang district, Poltat Sae Lee, 23, from Chiang Rai's Wiang Kaen district, and Chatchai Woraset, 21, from Chiang Rai's Thoeng district.

In the third case, a Toyota Rigo pickup and a Toyota Corolla car were stopped for a search at a drug checkpoint in Mae Phrik district, Lampang province, about 7.30pm on Jan 15.

The police found 143 packages with 286,000 meth pills in the two vehicles. Three men were arrested - Tossaporn Bamrungchart, 33, Prasit Saengsawang, 42, and Veerachart Kappo, 20, all from Ratchaburi's Ban Pong district, Pol Lt Gen Piya said.

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