By Natthawat Laping
The three were taken into police custody on April 3 for alleged links to unclaimed 9.4 million yaba pills and 788 kilograms of “ice” crystal methamphetamine that were seized on April 1.
The Hmong residents of Ban Thai Charoen (Moo 8) in Tambon Moungyai rallied outside the Wiang Kaen Police Station to demand justice for suspects Sompong Saehua, Anurak Saelao and Yong Saelao. District chief Khamron Sripho and Wiangkaen superintendent Pl Colonel Passakorn Pikul had to negotiate with the protesters amid tight security provided by paramilitary rangers and policemen.
As of press time, the protest continued.
The villagers claimed that the three men were innocent and they were neither at the scene where the drugs were discovered nor in the truck that carried the narcotics.
However, police and administrative officials explained that the three men were in the vicinity of the area where the drugs were seized and hence they were suspected of involvement. Officials said the men had been taken into custody for questioning in keeping the process of case investigation, not with any intention to bully them. They told the villagers that if the suspects were innocent, they could take the battle to court.
Drugs worth Bt1.7 billion in street value were seized by officers who were acting on a tip-off about delivery of drugs across the Mekong River at Ban Huai Leuk (Moo 4) in Tambon Moungyai.