Thai police have arrested five men and seized 500 million baht (16.6 million dollars) worth of methamphetamine drugs smuggled from the country’s northern border with Myanmar.
National Police Chief Priewpan Danapong said the huge drug haul included 40 kilograms of «ice,» or crystal methamphetamine, and 1.7 million methamphetamine pills.
Priewpan was quoted by the Bangkok Post website as saying the drugs were discovered at 11pm (1600 GMT) Saturday after police received a tip-off and stopped and searched a passenger bus in Ayutthaya province, 80 kilometres north of Bangkok.
The drugs, with an estimated street value of 500 million baht, were found after a search of five suitcases belonging to three bus passengers, he said.
The three suspects told police they had been hired for 300,000 baht to deliver the drugs from Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, on the Myanmar border, to two accomplices in Ayutthaya’s Bang Pahan district.
The two alleged accomplices were arrested shortly afterwards.
Thai and Western enforcement officials say the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine, produced at clandestine laboratories near the Thai-Myanmar border, has become the new drug of choice for many gangs previously specializing in opium and heroin.