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14 Thais among suspected drug couriers arrested by Wa Army

Aug 29. 2019
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By The Nation

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Fourteen Thais are among 36 suspected armed drug couriers arrested by the United Wa State Army across the border with Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai district, Thai authorities have been informed.

The UWSA in the Myanmar border town of Yon arrested 14 Thais and 22 Myanmar suspects on Tuesday after a group of armed drug couriers clashed with the Thai authorities in the forest behind Oko village in Tambon Tha Ton of Mae Ai district.

The UWSA seized 13 mobile phones, five pistols, one M79 grenade launcher, one M16A1 assault rifle, two Ma rifles and two AK-47 assault rifles as well as 40,000 methamphetamine pills from the captured suspects.

The suspects were detained at the UWSA base in Yon.

The Thai authorities checked with the UWSA and found nine of the suspects were wanted under a Thai court warrant for murdering anti-drug activist, Supoj Pulee, 29, at his house in Moo 19 in Tambon Pa Tuen of Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan district on August 1.

Thai police believe the nine suspects used four motorcycles to attack Sopoj in front of his house out of anger that Supoj provided information to police, causing their attempt to smuggle 7 million meth pills on July 24 to be foiled.

The 14 suspects arrested by the UWSA were identified as Mongkolchai Saenka, Yakha Pormua, Weerapong Jaba, Yaku Jalee, Chakkrapong Jaba, Ipe Jaba, Kriangkrai Jalee, Yossak Pormua, Ekkachai Yamor, Ekkachai Jakae, Yafu Jasue, Tossapak Muser, Somkiart Jayae, and a Lahu man, whose name was not known.

The Thai authorities will seek the UWSA’s cooperation in repatriating the Thai suspects to face charges in Thailand.

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