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‘Drug mule’ shot dead, 6m meth pills seized in intercept operation in Chiang Rai province

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An alleged drug mule was shot dead and 6.1 million methamphetamine pills seized following a pre-dawn clash between a combined police-military team and a group of drug couriers in the border area of the northern province of Chiang Rai on Tuesday.

‘Drug mule’ shot dead, 6m meth pills seized  in intercept operation in Chiang Rai province

The 3am drug-intercept operation, directed by Narcotics Suppression Bureau chief Pol Lt- General Chinnaphat Sarasin, was conducted following a tip-off about an alleged drug-trafficking network’s smuggling of narcotics into Thailand using a Mitsubishi pickup truck via Tambon Rim Khong in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district.
Officers spotted the loaded truck suspiciously cruising the area overlapping Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts, with a motorcycle being ridden in front of it. 
The officers tailed the vehicles until Tambon Nong Pa Kor in Doi Luang district and attempted to get the truck – driven by Anucha Pakit-udom, 25 – to pull over for a search, but Anucha tried to speed away and reportedly opened fire at the officers, resulting in a gunfight. 
He was shot dead at the scene, while his accomplices fled. 

‘Drug mule’ shot dead, 6m meth pills seized  in intercept operation in Chiang Rai province
Officers, who found 30 backpacks containing 6.1 million meth pills in the truck, were trying to locate more accomplices and seize their ill-gotten assets.
Meanwhile, in a separate drug bust in the neighbouring province of Lampang’s Thoen district, police were alerted by a local on Tuesday and seized 7,003,600 meth pills in 23 sacks and an unidentified amount of crystal meth, or “ice”, in an Isuzu pickup truck that had been abandoned in a wooded area of Ban Maewa Denchau (Moo 5) in Tambon Mae Wa. 
Thoen superintendent Pol Colonel Kanit Prasansuk said police suspected the haul might have come from the same smuggled batch as the 4 million meth pills and 600 kilograms of ice that were intercepted in Mae Prik district on November 30. 
He said the four suspects arrested in that operation had said the group had actually travelled in six trucks, two of which were carrying the drugs and the others either leading to scout the way ahead or tailing for protection. 
On Friday, police only managed to seize three of the six trucks, while the others were speedily driven away.

Published : December 04, 2018

By : Natthawat Laping, Pratheep Nanthaparp The Nation