CHIANG RAI – Over 3 million methamphetamine pills have been seized and Eight drug suspects were arrested in separate police operations in four districts on Wednesday in Chiang Rai Province.
Pol Lt Gen Poonsap Prasertsak, chief of Provincial Police Region 5, said at a new briefing in Chiang Rai that authorities seized, 3.2 million speed pills, 4kg of crystal methamphetamine, 1kg of ketamine, six vehicles, some title deeds, bank account books and many gold ornaments.
In the first raid, Prasit Muensripeng, 37, of Nonthaburi, was held after police found 487,200 methamphetamine pills, 4kg of crystal methamphetamine and 1kg of ketamine hidden in his car during a search at a police checkpoint in Mae Chan district on Wednesday.
Police extended the investigation, leading to the arrest of Niran Kerdmongkol, 35, of Nonthaburi about 3pm that day at Tham Pla checkpoint in Mae Sai district.
Mr Niran, who was about to leave for Mae Sai on a passenger bus, confessed to having driven a van containing illicit drugs from the border district to Grand Room Hotel’s parking lot in Muang district. Someone was to come later to pick up the drugs, he told police.
The two men had smuggled the drugs from the border separately to avoid being caught. The drugs were destined for Bangkok, according to police .
The officers took him to the hotel parking lot and found 18 fertilizer sacks containing over 2 million speed pills in the vehicle. Four rubber stamps for use in marking the drugs were also seized.
Pol Lt Gen Poonsap Prasertsak, said investigators had also learned that a man identified only as Jo had masterminded the smuggling operation. He had earlier fled an arrest warrant for attempted murder in Samut Prakan and was now hiding in a neighboring country.
In Mae Suai district, suspect Traiphum Saemue, 21, of Mae Suai district, were arrested after a police search found 200,000 speed pills hidden in his car late Wednesday night.
In Muang district, Kritsakorn Laewarit, 46, was arrested and about 300,000 speed pills found in two pickup trucks on the same day. Police also arrested a Myanmar man identified as Lor Pee, 35, and a Thai man, Wannuwan Charakul, 28, after 18,000 speed pills were seized from them.
In another raid, two drug suspects, Sompong Terbboon, 28, and Surachai Chaekong, 27, were arrested after 276,000 speed pills were found hidden in a secret compartment of their car in Mae Sai district.
Police also announced the arrests of three other drug suspects and the seizure of more than 400,000 speed pills in Chiang Mai during the media briefing in Chiang Rai.
Jakkrit Pingboontha, 31, and a 16-year-old youth were detained in Fang after police found 401,638 speed pills hidden in fruit boxes in their pickup truck.
In Mae Ai district Saman Kanthapao, 52, was caught and 44,000 speed pills seized from his pickup truck.
No information was given about when they were caught.