Chiang RaiDrugs

Narcotics police seize 6 million meth pills in Chiang Rai

Six million meth pills seized in Chiang Rai, photo by Thai PBS.

Thai narcotics police seized 6 million meth pills in the northern Chiang Rai province earlier this week. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said yesterday that officers stopped a timber truck and two scout cars in the Wiang Pa Pao district.

This was after officers had been alerted that a large number of drugs were to be transported from Mae Fah Luang district to two other storage places in Phrae and Ayutthaya provinces. The drugs were then to be distributed in Bangkok and southern provinces.

After stopping the timber truck and scout cars, the officers found bags of the 6 million meth pills hidden in all three vehicles.

The five suspected traffickers were part of a network of Hmong drug traffickers based in Chiang Rai, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB)’s secretary-general. The network received drugs from a neighbouring country and stored them in the Mae Fah Luang district before delivering them.

Secretary-General Wichai Chaimongkhon noted that the network mainly delivered the drugs by truck to storage points in central provinces. From there, the drugs were distributed to Bangkok and other locations.

Somsak said the suspected traffickers claimed to have successfully sent three big shipments to the south since October. They sent 3 million pills in October, 3.8 million in November, and 3.2 million in early January, Thai PBS reported.

After seizing the pills, officers confiscated assets worth 32 million baht from the gang. This included seven plots of land, nine cars, five bank books, and 598,000 baht in cash in Chiang Rai, Phrae, Nonthaburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces.

Meth continues to be the most popular, cheap, and readily available illicit narcotic in Thailand and all over Southeast Asia, where the synthetic drug trade is booming.

Last year, there were a few drug busts in Thailand involving millions of meth pills. The biggest bust happened back in January 2021 when police seized 15.2 million meth pills in the northern Chiang Rai province.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.