CHIANG RAI: Police recovered 6 million speed pills from a pickup truck abandoned by a narcotics gang during a chase in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan area. Soldiers from the Pha Muang task force and local police were dispatched to monitor routes in Mae Chan after receiving information that huge quantities of illicit drugs will be trafficked from the Thai-Myanmar border area via the northern province’s Mae Fa Luang district.
They saw a suspected pickup vehicle with Chiang Mai license plates travelling along the route towards Mae Chan around 3 a.m. on Friday.
The officers motioned for the vehicle to halt, but the driver drove away. Military and police pursued the pickup, which was later discovered abandoned in Huai Nam Rak village of tambon Chanchawa.
Officers examined the car and discovered 30 fertiliser sacks, each containing 200,000 speed pills, for a total of 6 million pills.
Late Thursday evening, officers conducting a traffic checkpoint in Wiang Kaen district’s tambon Lai Ngao observed a suspicious Nissan automobile with Chiang Rai plates. They motioned for the vehicle to halt, but the driver drove away.
The police pursued the automobile and discovered it abandoned at the Chaempong border checkpoint in the northern area. However, no illegal materials were discovered inside the vehicle, which was suspected of being used for drug smuggling.
Three drug couriers were detained last month, and 250,000 speed tablets worth around 2 million baht were recovered in this northeastern province’s Ban Phaeng district.
On Friday, a squad of military rangers and police arrested three men after they arrived in a car and a pickup truck to collect up sacks of illegal drugs left along a local road on the Na Phrachai-Na Thom route in tambon Nong Waeng.
During a press conference, top rangers and police reported the sacks contained 125 packages of 250,000 speed pills. The drugs confiscated were worth around 2 million baht.
Subin Harnchoengchai, 37, of Si Racha district in Chon Buri; Phimorn Khampan-on, 44, and Thanachai Phromdee, 31, both of Tha Uthen district in Nakhon Phanom; and Thanachai Phromdee, 31, of Tha Uthen district in Nakhon Phanom.
According to officials, the seized speed pills, labelled “Y1” on the packets, were of poor quality and had been laced with chemical pesticides. The pills were priced between 7 and 10 baht and were intended for sale to youths and workers.
During interrogation, the three suspects admitted to being paid for 30,000 baht each to distribute drugs to several areas in the Northeast.
Meanwhile, a navy patrol squad found 1.4 million speed pills and 25 kilograms of cannabis buds abandoned by fleeing smugglers on the Mekong River’s bank, with the drugs’ locations shown on the packages.
Late Wednesday night, marines from the Mekong Riverine Unit noticed a long-tailed boat moored on the river at Had Sai Phae hamlet Moo 5 in tambon Nong Thao of Tha Uthen district. Men were seen transporting something from the boat to shore.
When the officers approached to request a search, the men left on the boat, leaving nine sacks behind.
According to navy officers at a briefing on Thursday, 1,456,000 speed pills and 25 kg of dried cannabis buds were left behind.
The locations of the narcotics were discovered printed on the packages. They were scheduled to be sent to Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen, among other northeastern provinces. Several packages displayed the names of districts.
Officials stated that the medications were of poor quality and had been blended with chemical pesticides that constituted a health risk. Pesticide-contaminated tablets were sold for 7-10 baht apiece and were aimed at young people and workers.
More than 7 million speed pills have been recovered in the provinces of Bueng Kan, Mukdahan, and Nakhon Phanom in the last week, according to authorities.