A suspected member of a drug trafficking gang was shot dead, 40,000 speed pills were seized and two tribal men carrying illicit drugs were arrested in separate incidents in Chiang Rai on Thursday.
In the first incident, an army ranger task force spotted six suspicious men, each carrying a backpack, near Suanpa village in Mae Fa Luang district of Chiang Rai. The rangers signalled for the men to stop for a search, but they refused and opened fire. This prompted the task force to return fire. During the exchange of gunfire, one of the six men was shot dead. A bag containing 40,000 speed pills, two tubes of heroin and a grenade was seized. The other five managed to flee during the clash.
Authorities believed the men were members of an armed Muser unit led by Lt Col Yi Se.
On the same day, local police arrested two Akha hill tribesmen and more than 20,000 speed pills were seized from them at a bus terminal in Chiang Rai.
The two suspects _ Arphor sae Mue and Permpu Puchengkor _ were about to board a bus at the bus terminal when they were caught. Police found 22,000 speed pills hidden in fruit and snack packs in their bags.
The suspects allegedly confessed they had been hired for 55,000 baht by a man identified only as Amnuay, an aide of Lt Col Yi Se, to deliver the drugs to Rangsit in Pathum Thani.