CHIANGRAI TIMES – Third Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Wanthip Wongwai said drug eradication in Thailand could be achieved if everyone gets involved. He added concerted efforts would help prevent cross-border smuggling of drugs and their distribution within the country.
Dealers are expected to try to smuggle in more drugs, according to Lt-Gen Wanthip, since last year’s flood had wiped out most of their stashes. He cited more demands from addicts would prompt smugglers to find their ways to enter narcotics into Thailand.
Heavy military patrols over the Thai-Lao border in Nong Khai province have consequently forced smugglers to divert their route. Intelligence finds smugglers have opted to enter Thailand from Myanmar, crossing the border in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The smugglers, carrying backpacks each containing 50,000 narcotic pills, are usually accompanied by armed guards.
The revelation by the Third Army Region commander was in accord with reports of sporadic gun fights on the Thai-Burmese border. Lt-Gen Wanthip said barbed wire fences have been set up along targeted border areas to close all possible paths that could be used by the smugglers to cross into Thailand. He added that the recent arrests of major drug dealers in Bangkok had all been tipped off by officers who protected the border.
The Thai authorities tightened security at the Thai-Myanmar border in Tak province on Tuesday after unknown gunmen shot two Thai nationals – a man and a woman — and severely wounded a Thai teenager.
Thai Army soldiers and security personnel inspected a border village in Umphang district after ten gunmen shot three villagers before fleeing to the Myanmar side on Monday night.
Pood Kongchaluaykhiri and Masang Kongchaluaykhiri were killed while 14 year-old Radee Kongchaluaykhiri was severely wounded and rushed to hospital in Mae Sot. The young woman remains in hospital.
The cause of the shooting is under investigation. Security was tightened along the border to prevent a repeat attack