Six adults and a 15-year-old boy are in custody after a drug bust in Chiang Rai early on Monday morning, most of them riding in a suspected “spotter” car ahead of a meth-laden truck.
Fourteen sacks of crystal meth, known as “ice”, weighing nearly 300 kilograms were seized.
Police, anti-narcotics officers and paramilitary rangers from the Pha Muang task force massed on Chiang Khong-Thoeng Road in Ban Mai Pattana (Moo 10), Tambon Yang Hom, grew suspicious at the 3am sighting of a 10-wheel truck following a Toyota Vios sedan.
The vehicles were heading towards Thoeng district from the Lao border district of Chiang Khong.
Driver Sunthaorn Sarat, 46, was arrested.
In the sedan were Yeusa Saesong, 32, Dee Saesong, 30, Pisit Pattanahiran, 25, Chonsorn Saewang, 26, Panas Saewang, 20, and the 15-year-old, who were detained for questioning on suspicion of serving as lookouts for the shipment.
Officials believe the drugs were smuggled in from Laos via Chiang Khong or nearby Wiang Kaen district, where there are typically fewer checkpoints.
Had they come in via Mae Sai and Mae Chan districts, the smugglers would have to use Paholyothin Highway, which has many more checkpoints, a police source said.