Bangkok — Three Lahu tribesmen have been arrested and 902,000 methamphetamine pills seized in a big drug bust in northern Thailand on Saturday.
The pills seized have a street value of more than 500 million baht (US$15.6 million). The bust took place in Chiang Rai province’s Muang district.
Police officers had been tipped off that a large amount of illicit drugs were going to be smuggled into Thailand from Myanmar through Chiang Rai.
The deputy commander of Border Patrol Police Region 3, Pol Col Pongsak Limchalermchat, said he subsequently ordered officers to keep a close watch on the roads coming into Thailand from its neighboring country beginning on Friday night.
Police observed two pickup trucks on Saturday morning running from the border on the Nong Mor-Rongkhun road in tambon Mae Kon of Muang district. The officers signalled for the drivers to pull over for a search.
The drivers, however, refused to stop the vehicles, and the police had to fire gunshots into the air in order to force them to stop, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Upon searching the vehicles, police found 902,000 methamphetamine pills (“yaba” in Thai) on the back seats of the pickup trucks.
The officers arrested Suchart Chodaku, age 28, Arbue Seduku, age 38, and Piratchai Wuisueku, age 38.
The three suspects told the police that they had been paid to deliver the illicit drugs from Myanmar to Mae Kon sub-district.
They said after that other members of the drug trafficking gang were supposed to further transport the methamphetamines to Bangkok and to nearby Nonthaburi province.