A navy patrol has capture two men and seized 350 kilograms of marijuana on the bank of the Mekong River in northeastern Thailand on Friday night. The marijuana was allegedly destined for southern Thailand.
A Mekong Riverine Unit patrol spotted a group of five men unloading the marijuana from a longtailed boat onto a pickup truck at the bank of the river in in Nakhon Phanom late Friday night.
When the navy officers approached to request a search, the men fled in the boat. Two other men travelling in the pickup truck were caught after the sacks were found to contain 350 compressed bricks marijuana, each weighing one kilogram.
The suspects were identified as Uthai Dadthuisawat, 43, of Surin, and Uthai Kaewsai, 34, of Phetchabun. The seized marijuana was worth an estimated Bt5 million, a navy spokesperson said during a media briefing on Saturday.
During questioning, the suspects reportedly confessed they had been hired by a drug agent for Bt 50,000 to transport the marijuana from Nakhon Phanom to a border area in the South. They had made the deliveries on several occasions before being caught, investigators said.
Authorities said the seized marijuana came in new packaging that was convenient to handle and sell in small amounts. They believed the drugs might be sold to small users and people who wanted to cook food mixed with marijuana for sale.
Over the past two months, more than five tonnes of compressed cannabis have been seized in Nakhon Phanom, which lies across the Mekong from Laos.