CHIANG RAI – Soldiers from the Muang Task Military Force have seized almost 8 million speed pills and 50kg of crystal methamphetamine from a pickup truck abandoned by a smuggler following a chase in Wiang Chiang Rung district late Friday night.
Soldiers manning a checkpoint at Ban Pha village in tambon Dong Mahawan signaled a new Toyota Hilux Revo pickup truck with no license plates to stop for a search at around 9.45pm on Friday, but the driver sped off and the troops gave chase.
However, the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to plunge into a roadside ditch about 350 meters from the checkpoint.
The driver fled escaping into the cover of darkness.
Troops found 39 fertilizer sacks containing 7.8 million speed pills and two sacks containing 50kg of crystal methamphetamine or “ice” in the bed of the pickup truck, said Lt Gen Wichak Siribansop, the Third Army commander.
The pills alone have a street value of up to 2.4 billion baht.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Meng Rai Maharaj military camp, Lt Gen Wichak said he believed the drugs belonged to members of an ethnic minority group that had smuggled them onto Thai soil.
He has ordered troops from all units to coordinate efforts with other agencies to stop the influx of illicit drugs into northern border areas around the infamous Golden Triangle