Soldiers from the Pha Muang task force have seized 60 kilogram of heroin when smugglers dumped their loads and fled near the border in Chiang Dao district.
The soldiers spotted two men, each carrying a pack sack, while patrolling the Nong Khieo border area in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai province late on Thursday night.
When signaled them to stop the men fled into the darkness of the forest, leaving the pack sacks behind.
When the pack sacks were opened soldiers discovered 173 bricks of heroin weighing 60.55 kilograms in total.
Maj Gen Narit Thavornwong, the Pha Muang task force chief, said drug smuggling is rampant along the border and that heroin seizures have been frequent in recent months.
Meanwhile, a pickup truck driver and a 25-year-old woman have been arrested and 11.1 million speed pills that were seized from a pickup truck that was abandoned in Phayao province.
Theeraphol Arunmat, 37, and Methanee Amnuaypong, 25, both were charged with possession of narcotics with intent to sell.
During the interrogation, Mr Theeraphol told police he was a car driver in Trat. He said Ms Methanee had hired him for 200,000 baht to smuggle one million speed pills from northern Thailand. He claimed he did not know the haul would be more than 10 times that amount.
Trat-Phayao drug connection
Police began looking into a possible Trat-Phayao connection after an earlier seizure of 1,400 bricks of heroin, weighing 491 kilograms, was found in a truck in Den Chai district of Phayao.
Preecha Sa-nguanhong, 29, of Trat, was arrested and confessed to having been hired by a drug network in Trat, authorities said.
Investigators from Provincial Police regions 2 and 5 began tracking suspected members of the network and officers were alerted to keep an eye on their activities.
On Feb 28, Phayao police spotted a suspected pickup truck with Bangkok licence plates, which began its journey in Chiang Rai and was travelling to Phayao.
They lost track of the vehicle and eventually found it abandoned at a palm plantation in Chiang Muan district of Phayao. Shortly afterward, they found Mr Theeraphol hiding about 500 metres away from the vehicle.
Mr Theeraphol admitted to being the driver of the pickup and implicated Ms Methanee, who was later apprehended in Chiang Mai Province.
The suspect said he became aware that police were on his tail and stopped his pickup to check his cargo. It was only then, he said, that he realized the amount of drugs was far larger than what he had been led to believe.
The arresting team found 56 sacks containing 11.1 million speed pills, with a street value of around 1.1 billion baht.