Police seized 2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine from a large tugboat and arrested 13 fleeing suspects at a pier in Bang Pakong district of Chachoengsao on Monday night.
The drugs were believed destined for the Philippines and Australia.
Marine and narcotics suppression police searched the seagoing tug Srimongkolsap in Bang Pakong district about 9.30pm on Monday, acting on informtion about a drug smuggling operation, police said.
As police moved in, people jumped from the boat into the river, attempting to flee. Police rounded up 13 of them, all Thais. (coninues below)
Police fond 2 tonnes of crystal meth on the tugboat Srimongkolsap in Bang Pakong district of Chachoengsao on Monday night. The drugs were being smuggled to Australia and the Philippines. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)
The searchers found 90 cardboard boxes containing 2,000 kilogrammes of crystal meth in cabins below decks. The drugs were compressed and hidden in bags of dried fruit to cover the smell, according to Pol Maj Gen Phrutthipong Nutchanart, commander of the Marine Police Division.
He said investigators had learned the smugglers planned to offload the drugs to other vessels once the tug was in international waters. The drugs were destined for the Philippines, Australia and other countries.
Pol Lt Gen Samran Nuanma, assistant national police chief, and Pol Maj Gen Somboon Thiankhao, deputy chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) inspected the seized drugs at the pier.
All suspects and the seized drugs were handed over to NSB investigators for legal action.
The investigation into the gang's operations was continuing.
Ninety cardboard boxes containing crystal meth were found in cabins aboard the tugboat. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)
Blocks of crystal methamphetamines found inside cardboard boxes containing dried fruit. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)