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Chiang Rai Police Clash with Drug Runners – One Dead, 600 Million in Drugs Seized

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Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung briefs reporters in Bangkok on a major drug haul seized in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan district on Thursday night. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN


CHIANGRAI – Police Officials in Chiang Rai have seized 1.97 million yaba pills and 20 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and arrested three men, one of whom later died of gunshot wounds, following a clash with Police Officers.

Chiang Rai Police, acting on a tip-off, stopped four vehicles at Mae Chan-Chiang Saen intersection after learning that a narcotics network of Hmong hill tribespeople was shifting drugs through the area.

Two men in one of the cars opened fire on the Chiang Rai police, prompting them to return fire. Officers shot out the tires of the pick-up truck, prompting both the car and the truck to stop. The other two cars managed to flee the scene.

When a car and a pickup truck were forced to stop, the pickup truck driver, Pratheep Saeyang, got out of the vehicle and threw a grenade at the officers. The grenade failed to go off and the suspect was shot by officers, who later died in Hospital.

Two other men – Salideth Saetao and Sithichai Yanikon – were arrested at the scene.

Pol Colonel Noppadon Nilmanon who headed the operation said none of his officers were harmed in the altercation.

The two impounded vehicles were searched. Police found 10 sacks of methamphetamine pills and packages of ya ice. A pistol and a grenade were also found with the suspects.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung held a press conference at the Royal Thai Police Club yesterday to announce the arrests,

the seized drugs were worth about Bt600 million, he said.

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