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Northern Thai Police Seize 2.5 million in Methamphetamine Pills



Thai policemen guard packages containing about 2 million methamphetamine pills seized in Lampang province, prior to a press conference at the police headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, March 16, 2012. Police Col. Suthep Chutimapanya said about 2 million pills – Photo Sakchai Lalit


CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thai security forces have seized their second multimillion haul of methamphetamine pills in two days, bringing the total this year to more than 12 million tablets.

Police Col. Surachet Thopunyanon said a joint military-police force found 2.5 million methamphetamine tablets and 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of crystal meth Friday at a house in Chiang Rai, Thailand’s northernmost province bordering Myanmar and Laos. He said one Thai man and two Thai women were arrested.

Police Chief Pol Gen Prewpan Dhamapong told a news briefing about Thursday’s arrest of Vichai sae He, a 22-year-old ethnic Hmong suspected of drug trafficking, with two million meth pills in Lampang’s Mae Phrik district.

The arrest came after officers from Mae Phrik Police Station stopped a Chiang Rai registered pickup truck with four men inside for a search in the afternoon. The men ran away from the vehicle into a nearby grove. Police inspected the pickup and found a total of two million speed pills concealed in 10 sacks.

Authorities conducted air and ground searches for the four drug suspects who were hiding in the forest. One of the suspects was arrested after three hours in an operation involving two helicopters. Police identified him as Winai sae Her, 22, a Hmong hilltribesman from Chiang Rai.

The three other suspects are still at large and the search is continuing into the night, reports said.

Thailand is a leading market and transit point for methamphetamine, much of it produced in Myanmar.

The year’s biggest seizure of more than 4 million tablets was made at a checkpoint in Chiang Rai two weeks ago. About 2 million tablets were seized Thursday in the northern province of Lampang.

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