Armed clash leaves one drug trafficker dead, 1.8 million meth pills confiscated
Soldiers yesterday shot dead a drug trafficker and apprehended another after they tried to evade a road checkpoint in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai.
About 1.8 million methamphetamine pills were confiscated from the pickup truck they travelled from Phayao province.
Authorities said the Pha Muang Field Force of the Second Army has earlier received tip-off that drug traffickers would try to smuggle drugs from across the border to Ban Phamee village in Tambon Being Langham of Mae Sai district.
All border road checkpoints were alerted to keep watch on suspicious trucks entering Ban Phamee.
At 10.30pm last night, a Toyota pickup truck bearing Phayao province plate was seen coming near a checkpoint at Ban Phamee.
But the driver instantly reversed his vehicle on bid to avoid the checkpoint.
He drove in reverse gear for 300 metres before the pickup truck stuck in a roadside ditch with soldiers on hot pursuit.
One man sitting on the left side opened the door, and started shooting at the soldiers.
A brief gun fight ended with the driver shot dead inside the truck and the other apprehended. He was identified as Ranapol Sae Fa, an Aka hill tribe man.
Found in the truck and at the ditch are fertilizer bags filled with altogether 17 travel bags which 1.8 million methamphetamine pills were inside.