NAKHON PHANOM: A navy river patrol on Monday seized 580 kilogrammes of dried cannabis believed smuggled across the Mekong river from Laos and found in a pickup truck abandoned by the fleeing driver in Ban Phaeng district.
Capt Kasidi Klinseesuk, commander of the Nakhon Phanom Mekong Riverine Unit (MRU), said the seizure followed a tip-off.
On Monday morning, an MRU patrol gave chase to a black Chevrolet pickup. The pickup driver abandoned the vehicle near Noen Khanung village in tambon Ban Phaeng and fled.
The pickup was found to be carrying a bag containing 400 bricks of compressed dried cannabis with flowers and buds, each about 1kg. Another bag had 180kg of cannabis. The seized cannabis was believed en route to foreign markets, he said.
Capt Kasidi said although cannabis was no longer on the list of illegal narcotics, a permit was required to possess its flowers and buds to dispense for medical use.
Smuggling of cannabis into the country was a violation of the Customs Act and Plant Quarantine Act, he said.