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Chiang Mai

Truck with 6 million meth pills flees police, ends in shootout

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: A drug suspect led police on a car chase that ended in a shootout. (via Thai PBS)

In Chiang Mai, a dramatic drug bust of 6 million meth pills started with the suspect smashing through a roadblock in his truck and ended in a hail of gunfire. The pursuit and shootout took place yesterday in the northern province’s Mae Ai district last night with a rogue suspect leading police on a tense car chase to Fang district.

The police received a tipoff about a black pickup truck said to be transporting a shipment of illegal drugs across the province. In response, roadblocks were set up in Ban San Ton Mor in Mae Ai to nab the suspected drug trafficker. The effort was the combined forces of border patrol police, paramilitary rangers, and narcotics police officers.

But when the truck arrived, the driver decided not to stop at the checkpoint. Instead, he stepped on the gas and smashed his pickup truck through the roadblock as police officers scrambled to give chase. Police radioed ahead of the fleeing vehicle to checkpoints further up the road in hopes of apprehending the suspect at the next roadblock.

But the man in the pickup truck never made it that far, as his vehicle veered off the street into a creek alongside the road, in what appeared to be an accident. The police forces in pursuit caught up immediately after the crash and attempted to capture the suspect but were met with gunshots.

The suspect exchanged fire with police and, after a brief shootout, the man was shot and killed. After his death, the man was identified as a resident of the Mae Na Wang Sub-district. Searching him after the shootout, police found an automatic pistol on his body with a backup of 2 full extra bullet magazines. He also had a hand grenade manufactured in China that fortunately was not used during the confrontation.

After the intense chase and shootout, police searched the pickup truck and uncovered 30 plastic bags that each held 200,000 meth pills – a total of 6 million of the yaba tablets popular with drug users in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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