Chiang Rai Police seized almost 4 million methamphetamine pills and arrested an assistant village chief for suspected drug trafficking in Mae Chan district.
The drug haul was announced yesterday by Pol Maj Gen Chinawich Wichaithanapat, commander of the Chiang Rai provincial police. A 45-year-old man identified only as Thawee, assistant village chief of Ban Pha Bue in Mae Fa Luang district, was caught with 3.8 million speed pills and 1kg of ketamine.
Police were looking into a tip-off that a large amount of methamphetamine pills would be transported from the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Fa Luang district to Phahon Yothin Road.
Checkpoints were set up along the route. Police spotted three vehicles — a motorcycle and two pickup trucks — travelling down from Doi Tung to Phahon Yothin Road in Mae Chan district.
As the caravan reached a village road in tambon Mae Rai, police stopped the vehicles to search them. However, the drivers of one motorcycle and one pickup managed to flee.
Searching the other pickup truck, police found the drugs, a 9mm pistol, mobile phone banking records and ATM cards.
The drugs were linked to a trafficking ring based in Ban Pha Khao in Myanmar opposite Mae Fah Luang district, police said.
Mr Thawee was charged with illegally possessing narcotics with the intent to sell and carrying a gun in public without permission.