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Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force have seized 2,252,000 meth pills and 14 kilos of crystal meth after a gunfight with drug runners. The firefight with the drug runners took place in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai Province.
Col. Chatree Sa-nguantham told Thai media that the Pha Muang Task Force received a tip-off that drugs were to be smuggled across the border in Mae Sai district. Soldiers were then stationed at the border location where the informant said the drug runners would cross over into Chiang Rai.
As morning broke about 20 drug runners were spotted on a forest trail boarding Myanmar in Mae Sai. Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force ordered them to stop and a firefight broke out. The firefight lasted about about ten minutes and the drug runners retreated across the border. Upon a search of the firefight area soldiers found sacks containing meth pills and crystal meth dropped by the smugglers.
Col. Chatree also said there were no fatalities in the firefight. According to Col. Chatree the smuggled meth pills and crystal meth belong to the Wa Tai group.
Meth pills seized in earlier firefight
On February 19th, three drug smugglers were killed and one arrested in clashes with security forces near the Chiang Rai border. A total of 400,000 meth pills and 7 kilogram of crystal meth were seized.
The first clash occurred about 9.30pm after a number of pickups and motorcycles were spotted crossing the border from Myanmar into Chiang Saen district.
Narcotic Suppression police and soldiers of the Pha Muang Force followed them to an area near the Chiang Saen-Chiang Rai by-pass. Consequently as they moved in for a search guards travelling with the convoy opened fire.
During the subsequent exchange of shots one smuggler was killed. Consequently another was arrested. The dead man was identified only as Jalae, aged about 20. The arrested man as Yapa Ja-ou, 18, of Ban San Khong in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan district. The smugglers left behind a total of 250,000 meth pills and about 7kg of crystal meth.