By Nopporn Thathan
Phayao police were alerted at 8.30pm by the Provincial Police Region 5’s narcotics suppression team, which had tailed two suspicious vehicles – a van followed by an ambulance – from Chiang Rai into Phayao.
They were asked to provide back-up as the suspects, realising they were being followed, had tried to flee their pursuers.
Local police quickly set up along the expected escape route, spotted the two target vehicles in Soi Sri Samran, and presented themselves to stop them.
As those onboard the vehicles then failed to slow down and tried to shoot their way out, police officers opened fire at the ambulance’s tyres, sending it crashing onto a roadside fence.
Three suspects were arrested, while police also retrieved the narcotics haul from hidden compartments under the side seating inside the ambulance.
The van, also reportedly carrying drugs, was later stopped at the Mae Tam checkpoint in Mueang district and its occupants apprehended.