Thai police confiscated a large cache of narcotics, including nine million methamphetamine tablets, 297kg of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and 20kg of ketamine, in three separate seizures in the northern provinces of Lampang and Chiang Rai today (Wednesday).

In the first seizure, police from the 5th Provincial Police Bureau stopped a pickup truck at a checkpoint in Mae Prik, Lampang Province. They found 12 plastic boxes containing two million methamphetamine pills, 297kg of Ice and 20kg of ketamine and arrested the driver, identified only as “Boonlert”.

Boonlert reportedly told the police that he took delivery of the drugs in Pan district of Chiang Rai, to be delivered to an undisclosed destination. There was another car, driven by “Thanaphol”, acting as guide, who was eventually apprehended with his girlfriend.

In the second seizure, police in Sop Prap district of Lampang Province stopped a pickup truck at a checkpoint on the Phahonyothin Road. A search of the vehicle uncovered one million methamphetamine pills in plastic boxes.

The truck driver, identified as “Kittichai”, reportedly told the police that they took delivery of the drugs in Mae Suai district of Chiang Rai, for delivery to a customer in the southern province of Krabi.

In the third seizure, police chased to two pickup trucks, which had refused to stop for a search at a road checkpoint between Mae Chan and Chiang Saen districts of Chiang Rai Province.

The vehicles were later found abandoned in roadside woods, while the drivers fled the scene. The police found six million methamphetamine pills contained in 30 gunny bags.

Pol Lt-Gen Piya Tavichai, commissioner of the 5th Provincial Police Bureau, said that police have been ordered to step up checks of suspicious-looking vehicles at road blocks around the clock during the lead-up to the Songkran festival, as drug trafficking activities usually increase.

He disclosed that there are seven major drug production factories in a neighbouring country, which have a combined capacity to churn out several million methamphetamine pills each day, adding that there are also 24 drug storage facilities scattered along the border with Thailand.

Since last October, the 5th Provincial Police Bureau police have seized more than 62 million methamphetamine pills, 1.4 tonnes of Ice and 421kg of ketamine and have confiscated assets worth about 377 million baht from drug suspects.



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