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Blockbuster drug haul worth over B2bn in Chiang Rai

CHIANG RAI: More than 20 million speed pills (ya bah) and 100 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) – worth over B2 billion – have been seized and three alleged traffickers arrested in two major police operations in Chiang Rai province.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 16 October 2018, 09:48AM

Packs of illicit drugs seized in recent police operations are displayed at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau headquarters in Bangkok during a media conference yesterday (Oct 15). Photo: Apichit Jinakul

Packs of illicit drugs seized in recent police operations are displayed at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau headquarters in Bangkok during a media conference yesterday (Oct 15). Photo: Apichit Jinakul

Part of the massive illicit drug haul seized between Oct 13 and 14 was displayed during a media briefing at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau headquarters in Bangkok yesterday (Oct 15).

In the first raid, narcotics suppression police seized 12,200,000 ya bah pills, 100kg of ya ice and three pickup trucks in Chiang Khong district on Oct 13, said Gen Chalermkiart Srivorakhan, deputy national police chief. Three men – Withoon Piyapipattarakul, 35, Witthaya Wongbunchailert, 32, and Awichart Songsitthichaoren, 33 – were arrested.

The gargantuan drug bust followed a tip that a drug trafficking gang would smuggle a large quantity of illicit drugs from Phaya Mengrai district to central Chiang Rai. Police teams were dispatched to keep watch along possible smuggling routes.

Withoon and Witthaya were apprehended at kilometre markers 1-2 on Thesaban Rd in tambon Wiang of Chiang Khong district on Oct 13, while Awichart was detained in tambon Sathan of the same district.

Thirty fertiliser sacks – each containing 400,000 ya bah pills – along with two sacks filled with a total of 100kg of ya ice were seized from one of their three pickup trucks, said Gen Chalermkiart.


In another operation, a team of officers from the Provincial Police Region 5 seized 10mn speed pills abandoned in Mae Lao district of this northern border province by a drug gang following a police chase on Sunday (Oct 14).

Police manning a checkpoint on Thoeng-Chang Rai Rd spotted a pickup truck travelling along the route at around 1am on Sunday. They signalled the vehicle to stop for a search, but the driver sped off. Officers gave chase, but the driver managed to escape.

At around 8am the same morning, police were notified by local residents that several fertiliser sacks were lying along the roadside in Ban Rongsala village of Mae Sao district. On arriving at the scene, officers discovered 10mn ya bah pills inside the sacks.

During the media conference, police also announced four other drug busts involving 1,800kg of marijuana, 7.9kg of cocaine, five weapons and other items seized from suspects.

Read original story here.



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Kurt | 17 October 2018 - 19:21:33

Mr P.  Myanmar and Thailand are befriended neighbors. Is the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Bangkok not co-operating/exchanging intelligence with their colleagues in Myanmar?  Fact remains, just arrest 3 drivers projected on the amount of drugs they busted is ridiculous. There are drugs fighting gaps. (If the stuff came from Myanmar, Laos or Cambodia, as it does more than 70 years !)

Pascale | 17 October 2018 - 14:50:37

Well done,RTP. Mr.K,have you ever thought about that those factories possibly are in Myanmar ? There is no way to ever stop the flow of drugs,not here and not in other countries.

Kurt | 17 October 2018 - 10:15:48

Let's hope that during transport from Chiang Rai province not a few fertilizer bags felt of the police trucks. A few lesser wouldn't been missed. So, were is this 'fertilizer' factory? Only 3 traffickers arrested? What are the more than 30 RTP standing there instead of working to follow the trail to the factory? To influential-dangerous for their careers?

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