Police in Chang Khong, Chiang Rai have seized 11 million meth tablets from three pickup trucks abandoned by fleeing drug smugglers.
According to Chiang Rai police, the meth tablets were said to belong to a major smuggling network run by a fugitive trafficker known as “Porlee”.
The Chiang Rai provincial police chief, Pol Lt Gen Piya Tawichai, and senior officers announced yesterday that the drugs were seized in two operations in the province.
On May 19, drug suppression police from Provincial Police Region 5 and Chiang Rai police followed two suspected pickup trucks traveling from Mae Suai to the downtown Muang district.
The three pickups were parked at the Hua Doi intersection in the tambon Tha Sai of Muang district of Chiang Rai. When police approached the pickup trucks, the drivers had already fled into the darkness.
The officers discovered and seized four million meth pills from the vehicles. In addition, a few burner phones and documents were left inside the cabins of the pickups.
Police chase in Chiang Rai
At 12.10 am on May 25, police from region 5 working with local officers signaled two vehicles-a white pickup truck and a gray pickup with Tak license plates-to stop at a checkpoint in Chiang Khong district for a search.
Instead, the vehicles accelerated away and the police chased them.
There was a pickup intercepted on a road in Hua Wiang village, Tambon Wiang, Chiang Khong district. It was abandoned by the driver.
Upon removing a tarpaulin covering the back, police found 35 sacks containing 200,000 meth tablets, or around 7 million pills in total.
Police said the drugs seized in both cases were trafficked by Boonchai Saemua, alias Porlee, who has fled the country, according to investigators.
On Thursday night, another two million methamphetamine pills were discovered inside a car that crashed into a roadside tree in Chumphon province’s Tha Sae district, as police pursued it.
Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai, chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), said yesterday that police arrested Ittipan Chanduang, 24, and Phanuwat Panlamjiak, 23, both from Sa Kaeo, and seized 2 million meth pills in sacks in the car’s boot.
Sarayut said the pair had been signaled by police to stop at a checkpoint before they crashed their car.
Police chased the driver until the vehicle lost control on the wet road as the driver accelerated away.