8 suspected drug traffickers have been shot dead in a firefight with Thai drug and border police that took place in the early hours of the morning in a Chiang Rai jungle. According to a Thai PBS World report, security forces have also seized around 6.7 million methamphetamine (yaba) pills in the operation.
It’s understood the Thai troops were on patrol in the Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai, around 5 kilometres from the border with Myanmar, when they encountered 10 men. According to the report, several of the men were armed and carrying heavy backpacks. Suspecting them to be drug traffickers, the Thai forces ordered them to stop in order to be searched, at which point, the men began to fire at them. This led to a 10 minute gunfight.
The border patrol had to wait for daybreak in order to search the area, when they found the bodies of 8 men at the scene, along with several abandoned backpacks. Inside the packs, they found 6.7 million yaba pills. According to the report, the dead men are believed to be from one of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities.
Thailand’s northern border with Laos and Myanmar, better known as the Golden Triangle, is a hot bed of methamphetamine production. Most of the ‘meth labs’ are portable, well patrolled, and hidden under thick jungle canopies, away from prying satellite and overhead surveillance.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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