Soldiers in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province have killed 13 drug runners after a firefight on Saturday evening in the Mae Fa Luang district. After the deadly firefight soldiers discovered thirteen bodies and around 1.7 million meth pills.
On Sunday morning, senior commanders of the Pha Muang Task Force told CTN News the gunfire broke out about 7 o’clock on Saturday night and continued for approximately five minutes. The drug runner opened fire when soldiers on patrol ordered them to stop.
After the gunshots stopped, the soldiers waited until daybreak to conduct an assessment of the area. There were no casualties among the Pha Muang Task Force.
Methamphetamine trafficking has been a persistent problem in Thailand. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) reports that, in an effort to curb drug smuggling, authorities have been maintaining a heightened vigil over border areas and intend to increase patrols during the New Year break.
According to the ONCB, three provinces—Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son—near the border in Shan State, Myanmar, are responsible for 80 percent of the world’s illicit drug trade.
Since the ONCB anticipates an increase in drug smuggling into Thailand through its northeastern and northern borders in 2024, it has collaborated with security authorities to establish border checkpoints.
13 Dead, 1.7m Meth Pills Seized in Chiang Rai