Thai troops seized about 225kg of crystal methamphetamine, abandoned by a gang of drug smugglers on the Thai side of the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Sai district of the northern province of Chiang Rai, following a brief gun battle Sunday morning.
According to the Pha Muang task force, the troops were on a routine patrol in Ban Pa Daeng, Ko Chang sub-district, as part of drug suppression operations, and came across ten armed men crossing the Sai River natural border from Myanmar.
The troops ordered them to stop for a search, only to be shot at by the gang, believed to be Wa or Tai Yai ethnic people from the Shan state of Myanmar.
A five minute gun battle ensued, before the intruders fled back to Myanmar. No Thai troops were injured and, as they combed the area, they found nine knapsacks, each containing 20-25kg of crystal meth (Ice).
A task force officer said that the illicit drugs are believed to have been manufactured in a lab in the northern Shan state and then transported to a storage facility near the Thai border, in Myanmar’s Tachileik province, before being smuggled across the border by armed ethnic groups.