Security forces shot dead a suspected drug trafficker and seized about six million methamphetamine pills, or “yaa baa”, from his pickup truck, following a wild car chase from Mae Ai to Fang districts of Thailand’s Chiang Mai.
The dead suspect was later identified as Tatchaphol Jaka, a resident of Mae Na Wang sub-district. Authorities also found an automatic pistol on his person, with two spare full magazines and one Chinese-made hand grenade.
Acting on a tipoff, a combined force of narcotics police, paramilitary rangers and border patrol police was deployed to set up road blocks in Ban San Ton Mor in Mae Ai district on Saturday night, to keep watch for a black pickup truck suspected to be carrying illicit drugs.
As the suspect vehicle approached the checkpoint, its driver reportedly accelerated and broke through the checkpoint. The authorities then gave chase and alerted colleagues at the other checkpoints along the route.
The escaping suspect, however, accidentally drove into a roadside creek and tried to escape, just as the pursuing forces arrived at the scene. A brief gunfight took place and the driver was killed in a hail of bullets.
The authorities later searched the suspect’s vehicle and found 30 plastic bags, each containing 200,000 methamphetamine pills.