CHIANG RAI – An unidentified drug smuggler was shot dead Thursday night after a fight with soldiers in Mae Sai district near the Myanmar border, 290,000 methamphetamine (Yaba) pills later seized.
The smuggler’s body was found on Friday when a team of soldiers, police and local officials, led by Col Kidakorn Chanthara, Commander of the Pha Muang Drug Task Force, inspected the scene of the late-night clash.
The unidentified man was lying dead with a green backpack containing methamphetamine pills and approximately 20 meters away from his body was another bag containing more yaba pills. The two bags held a total of 290,000 speed pills
The team from the Pha Muang Drug Task Force spotted a group of armed men, all carrying backpacks, crossing the border into Thailand in Mae Sai district while on patrol on Thursday night. When ordered to stop the smugglers opened fire on the soldiers.
Both sides exchanged fire for about 5 minutes, and then the smugglers disappeared into the forest, under the cover of darkness.
Chiang Rai Police believed the men belong to an ethnic group in Myanmar known to be involved in the drug trade.