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Speed Pill Courier Killed after Shootout in Northern Thailand




Following an exchange of gunfire in Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai province, a drug runner was found dead near backpacks containing 300,000-speed pills in northern Thailand.

A paramilitary ranger patrol squad exchanged gunfire with a suspected drug trafficking group in Ban Pa Kui village in Tambon Tha Ton at about 8:10 pm on Wednesday, according to Col Wichet Chansing, commander of paramilitary rangers in the Third Army Region.

It took about 10 minutes for the shooting to end. A paramilitary ranger suffered a slight injury and has been discharged from the hospital.

The body of a suspected drug smuggler was found early on Thursday morning. Colonel Wichet also reported finding three backpacks with about 300,000-speed pills in them.

Authorities in northern Thailand have intensified efforts to stop the increasing flow of narcotics into Thailand from strife-torn Myanmar and communist Laos through porous borders.

Read: Soldiers in Chiang Rai Province Seized 5 Million Speed Pills

Earlier this month, a Thai military unit was involved in an armed operation that led to the shooting death of six drug smugglers at dawn in Chiang Rai Province, after around a dozen of the smugglers had crossed into Thailand from Myanmar.

They fired at the army patrol when they encountered them, and its members responded with fire during a 30-minute shootout. Colonel Sutkhet Srinilthin, commander of a locally based unit, said Thai soldiers killed six illegal border crossers.

Nine straw bags containing 1.8 million methamphetamine speed pills were found by the officers.

Earlier this month, Thai officials had seized 6.4 million methamphetamine speed pills, 300 kilograms of crystal meth, and 200 kilograms of marijuana in several cases, according to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.

Last month, police in Laos seized more than 55 million methamphetamine speed pills and 1.5 tons of crystal meth, which according to a senior official with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was the largest seizure in East and Southeast Asia history.



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