CHIANGRAI TIMES – Chiangrai’s Royal Thai Police have seized illicit drugs with a street value of 800 million baht and arrested three suspects in Chiang Rai’s Muang district chief Surachet Topoonyanont.
The haul on Friday came just a day after the seizure of 500 million baht worth of speed pills in nearby Lampang province.
Friday’s operation was carried out by a combined team of local police, Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers and soldiers of the Pa Muang task force. They raided a deserted three-storey building near the Mae Korn intersection in tambon Rob Wiang after an intelligence report indicated a major drug gang was storing narcotics there.
One man and two women were in the building when the unit arrived. Officers arrested them after a search found 2.5 million methamphetamine pills and 50 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine in big cardboard boxes, Pol Maj Gen Surachet told a news conference on Friday.
Arrested were Damrong Somwawiang, 39; Parichart Arblit, 28; and Hassaruadee Arthornpracharat, 34.
The suspects initially told police they had hidden the drugs in the building and were about to deliver them to Bangkok by using the service of a nearby privately owned postal company, said Pol Maj Gen Surachet.
The three suspects were thought to be involved with a suspected drug trafficker arrested last month in the adjacent district of Phaya Mengrai for possessing 1.8 million speed pills worth 500 million baht.
In the Lampang operation on Thursday aftrernoon, officers from Mae Phrik Police Station stopped a Chiang Rai-registered pickup truck with four men inside for a search. The men fled into a nearby grove. Police inspected the pickup and found a total of 2 million speed pills concealed in 10 sacks.
Authorities conducted air and ground searches for the four suspects who were hiding in the forest. One of the suspects was arrested after three hours in an operation involving two helicopters. Police identified him as Winai sae Her, 22, a Hmong hilltribesman from Chiang Rai.
The three other suspects were still at large and the search was continuing, reports said.