2 million meth pills, 50kg of ice seized in Chiang Rai clash

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CHIANG RAI, Feb 15 — Thai authorities seized 50kg of crystal methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘ice’ and 2.2 million methamphetamine tablets after a gunfight between Thai police and members of a drug syndicate on Mae Chan-Chiang Saen Road in Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan district Thursday night.

Two suspected drug traffickers were arrested and taken into custody while another was seriously wounded and sent to hospital. The authorities seized two pickup trucks, one pistol and a hand grenade.

Pol Col Noppadol Nilmanond of Chiang Rai Narcotics Supression Bureau led police to stake out the Mae Chan-Chiang Saen Road after an informant reported that ethnic Hmong drug traffickers in Thoeng district would smuggle illicit drugs from Myanmar into Thailand at border of Mae Sai and Mae Fa Luang districts.

The reports warned that the drug syndicate may use Mae Chan-Chiang San Road to transport the shipment to avoid a checkpoint on the Mae Chan-Chiang Rai Road.

While monitoring the Mae Chan-Chiang Saen ‘T junction’, police found four pickup trucks driving from the border which looked suspicious.

The police asked the four vehicles to halt for inspection but they tried to evade and a chase along the road began. The suspected drug traffickers shot at the police car, while police shot out the tyres of two of the pickup trucks. The drivers attempted to escape, throwing a grenade at the police, but it failed to detonate.

The driver, wounded by police, and two other suspects in the pickup truck were arrested.

Two trucks eluded the authorities, but police are trying are trying to track down the escaped suspects.