A government border force seized 225 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, after a clash with a group of suspected drug couriers in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province late on Saturday night, police said.
At about half past midnight, a patrol from the 4th Company of a cavalry battalion under the Pha Muang Force came across a group of about 10 men at Ban Padaeng, the Moo 5 village in tambon Ko Chang of Mae Sai district.
The soldiers signalled the group to stop for a search. Members of the group then opened fire, police said, triggering a firefight which lasted about five minutes. The two sides were then left in a standoff.
The government patrol called in two other teams for reinforcement.
The troops started clearing up the area at dawn. They found nine bags left scattered in the area. The bags contained about 225kg of crystal methamphetamine.
The seized drugs were handed over to Ko Chang police station for further legal proceedings.
In a separate action, Pol Caol Phum Banthip, the Hat Yai police chief in the southern province of Songkhla, on Saturday held a press conferrence to to announce the seizure of 272 bars of heroin, weighing about 100kg in total.
The seizure was made on Sept 16 when anti-narcotics police signalled a four-door Isuzu pickup to stop for a search at a checkpoint at the Khuan Lang intersection in Hat Yai district. The pickup sped past the checkpoint, prompting the police to give chase.
The pickup was intercepted at a petrol station in Na Mom district, about 10 kilometres away.
In a search, 272 bars of heroin in seven bags, weighing about 100kg with a street value of about 50 million baht, were found in the vehicle. The driver, Buraheng Samo, 35, from Pattani, was arrested.
Information from Mr Buraheng led to the arrest of Abdulfata Awae, also from Pattani, with a Ford pickup at a resort in Thepha district, Songkhla province. The second pickup had been used by him as a lookout vehicle.
The two said they were hired by a woman named Rohaiya Che-ha, of Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district, to transport the heroin from Phetchaburi to Sungai Kolok, from where the drug was to be further smuggled across the border into Malaysia. They said they had been hired to do this six times previously, 400,000-500,000 baht for each delivery.
On Sept 17, armed with a warrant from the Songkhla Court, police arrested Ms Rohaiya at a house in Sungai Kolok and impounded six vehicles believed to have been acquired from the drug trade for examination.
The three were charged with having heroin, a Category 1 narcotic, in possession with intent to sell.