Chiang Rai police seize nearly two million meth pills in major drug bust

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In a massive crackdown on drug trafficking, Chiang Rai Police Force seized nearly two million meth pills in two major cases. From October 1, 2022, to July 19, 2023, the Region 5 Provincial Police intercepted more than 90 million meth pills and confiscated property worth 453 million baht.

The announcement was made today, by a team comprising senior officers from the Region 5 Provincial Police and policy analysts from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

The first case took place in the jurisdiction of the Chiang Rai City Police Station, where one suspect was apprehended with 200,000 meth pills. The incident occurred on August 18, around 11.40pm. The suspect, acting as a courier, had parked a vehicle near the Mong Kao Lang village in Mae Fa Luang district, Chiang Rai.

The vehicle was then taken away and brought back to the same spot laden with 200,000 meth pills hidden in the vehicle’s spare tire. The suspect was then tasked with driving the vehicle to a designated spot on the Salalim road in Phaya Mengrai district, Chiang Rai, a method previously used by drug smuggling operations.

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The suspect confessed that this was his second time acting as a transporter for a stash of meth pills. He says that he was compensated 50,000 baht for the run.

The second case unfolded in the jurisdiction of Mae Chan Police Station, Chiang Rai, where nearly two million meth pills were seized on Saturday. The officers of the Chiang Rai Provincial Narcotics Suppression Division received information about a suspicious vehicle entering the area.

The vehicle was spotted at a petrol station in Mae Chan around 1.50am and was tracked as it left the station towards Pa Miang village in the same district. The officers lost track of the vehicle but remained vigilant.

Around 2.40am, the suspicious vehicle was seen passing a checkpoint in Pa Miang, leading to a swift pursuit. The vehicle turned into a village lane, hastily stopped, and two men bolted from the driver’s and passenger’s side, managing to escape in the darkness.

A search of the vehicle revealed 17 backpacks containing approximately 1.77 million meth pills. The investigating officers are confident they will be issuing arrest warrants for the culprits soon.

The investigations into both cases revealed that the same drug smuggling group, known as the Mong Kao Lang group, was involved. The group operates short-haul drug transport from the Mae Fa Luang district border area, Chiang Rai, to the areas of Chiang Khong, Phaya Mengrai, and Theing, Chiang Rai.

They then wait for the opportunity to transport drugs like these meth pills into the central region. The group may have connections with Boonchai or Pauli Zaem Mua, who is currently evading arrest in a neighbouring country.

During that period between October last year and last month, the Region 5 Provincial Police made 28,094 drug-related arrests, including 128 major cases. Seized evidence includes 90,850,519 meth pills, 2,719 kilogrammes of crystal meth, 435 kilogrammes of ketamine, and 182 kilogrammes of heroin. The value of the seized property is approximately 453 million baht.

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Neill Fronde

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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