NONG KHAI – Police and soldiers in Northeaster Thailand have seized 76.5kg of heroin worth almost 100 million baht following a brief clash with drug smugglers on the bank of the Mekong River in the Sangkhom district of Nong Khai Province in the early hours of Friday.
Pol Maj Gen Chalong Pakpinyo, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 4, said at a media briefing that a joint patrol was deployed following a tip off a shipment of heroin would be smuggled across the Mekong River to an agent in the Sangkhom district.
Around 3am, a group of 10 men were seen carrying fertilizer sacks from a boat on the riverbank. Members of the patrol emerged from hiding to ask to make a search. The men quickly dropped the sacks and fired shots at the patrol as they fled into a nearby forest.
Inside the sacks were 200 slabs of heroin weighing 76.59kg in total. The packages each bore one of two logos – two lions on a globe, and a golden elephant. The heroin has a street value of almost 100 million baht, he said.
The drugs were most likely from the Golden Triangle area and were smuggled through either Laos or Myanmar and then to Thailand, the deputy police chief said.
By Chakkrapan Natanri