Narcotics Suppression police have seized 2 tons of crystal methamphetamine from a seagoing tugboat and arrested 13 suspects at a pier east of Bangkok. The crystal meth was believed to be on its way to the Philippines and Australia.
Narcotics officers searched the seagoing tug Srimongkolsap at the TNS Bangpakong dock in Bang Pakong at 9.30 p.m. on Monday, based on information regarding a drug smuggling operation, according to police.
People jumped from the boat into the river as police approached, attempting to flee. Police apprehended 13 of them. They were all Thai nationals.
In a cabin below decks, the searchers discovered 90 cartons containing 2,000 kg of crystal meth. According to Pol Maj Gen Phrutthipong Nutchanart, chief of the Marine Police Division, the drugs were compressed and placed in bags of dried fruit to mask the odor.
Investigators determined the criminals planned to unload the cocaine to other vessels once the tug entered international waters, he said. The drugs were bound for the Philippines, Australia, and other destinations.
Pol Lt Gen Samran Nuanma, assistant national police commander, and Pol Maj Gen Somboon Thiankhao, deputy chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), inspected the seized drugs at the pier.
All suspects and substances collected were turned over to Narcotics Suppression Bureau NSB investigators for prosecution.
The inquiry into the gang’s activities was ongoing.
Meanwhile, two police officers and a narcotics suspect were shot by a second suspect during a successful police sting operation in Pattani’s Yaring area on Monday night.
During the narcotics bust, both suspects were detained, and 400,000 methamphetamine pills were seized.
A police officer masquerading as a customer previously phoned a dealer in Pattani to purchase 200,000 meth pills. On Monday night, delivery was scheduled along Road 42 in tambon Manangyong.
When two men arrived in a pickup truck to make the delivery, police were waiting.
According to police, one suspect got out of the vehicle and handed the undercover cop a bag containing 200,000 pills. Mahama Wadeng, 37, was named as the suspect. Two members of a joint local police-Crime Suppression Division squad on the case stepped in to arrest Mr Mahama.
From the pickup truck, the second suspect opened fire. Bullets struck two officers, Pol Sgt Maj Yusor Aaedasong and Pol Sgt Surachet Pongsao, as well as Mr Mahama.
Sufian Salae, 32, was designated as the second suspect and alleged gunman. Police officers hidden nearby apprehended him swiftly.
Both officers got minor injuries. The suspect was critically hurt after being hit in the back. According to police, a search of the vehicle turned up an extra 200,000 meth pills.
The two suspects were charged with unlawful narcotics possession with intent to sell, attempted murder, and illegal weapon possession. They were turned over to Yaring police for prosecution.