A drug suspect believed to be a fighter with an ethnic group in Myanmar was killed in a shootout with Thai police and soldiers while attempting to bring drugs across the border into Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai district early Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint force of some 30 policemen and troops staked out a forest near Ban San Ton Du in Tambon Tha Don at 2 am.
They spotted some 30 men in green military uniform carrying one bag each walking through the forest to two pickup trucks waiting at the end of the earth road near the forest. Each of the men carried a gun.
The authorities waited for the suspects to load the bags into the back of the two pickups before emerging, shouting to the men to lay down arms and wait. They responded by opening fire at the authorities.
The two sides engaged in a gunfight for about 20 minutes before the suspects fled into the forest to cross the border back to Myanmar.
The authorities radioed for reinforcements. Once these arrived, they checked the spot where hey found the body of a suspect who had been shot twice in the chest.
A pursuing unit managed to arrest another suspect in green military uniform. The suspect could not speak Thai, police said.
The authorities also found and seized about 9.8 million meth pills inside 50 fertilizer bags in the back of the two pickups.