A Chiang Mai court has handed down death-sentences to eight Thais who were caught at a police road block with nearly 500 kilos of crystal meth in November of last year.
The court decided that so grave was the crime and so bad was the impact on society and the country as a whole that despite the fact seven of the defendants admitted their guilt no mercy should be shown.
An admission of guilt and help in an inquiry usually commutes a death sentence to a life term.
Giving details of the case Pol Maj-Gen Phichet Jiranantasin, Chiang Mai provincial police chief, said that on the 3rd of November the first two suspects, Yothin and Phan were stopped in a Toyota Altis at a drugs checkpoint in Sop Prap sub-district of Lampang.
They were supposed to be the lookout in a lead vehicle.
Behind them were four more suspects called Wirot, Thanawat, Thanadol and Ithiphon who had the drugs. They were in a Fortuner and an MG.
They fled the scene but were rounded up on the morning of the 4th November holed up in a curtain hotel (short time sex establishment) in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai.
The inquiry was expanded and resulted in the arrest of a man called Em and a woman called Natjitra who was the owner of the drugs.
Police recovered 495 kilos of “ice” or crystal methamphetamine that was bound for Bangkok.
Thanadol denied charges of possessing meth with intent to sell but he and all the other suspects were found guilty on that charge.
The court decided that leniency was not warranted even though seven of the defendants admitted their guilt.
The last time the sentence was carried out was more than two years ago in June 2018 when a convicted murderer was given a lethal injection. Before that it had been nine years since the ultimate sanction had been carried out.
Execution by firing squad – that saw more than 300 shot since 1935 – was discontinued in 2003.
Thirty five crimes in Thailand still carry the ultimate penalty.
Earlier this week the armed robber Prasitthichai – a former school director – was sentenced to death after killing three people including a 2 year old child during the Aurora gold shop heist in Lopburi in February. – Sanook