Overview of the Arrests
On September 6, 2023, two suspected drug couriers were arrested in Chiang Rai’s Muang district after 2 million methamphetamine pills were found in their vehicle. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board Region 5 announced the details of the arrest on September 7, withholding the suspects’ surnames. The duo now faces charges of collusion in possession of illicit drugs with intent to sell, among other offenses.
This arrest follows a previous operation in which four drug suspects were apprehended on June 15, 2023, in Lampang’s Ngao district, and 4 million meth pills were seized from their possession. The drugs were allegedly intended for distribution in the Central Plains region.
The Investigation and Connection to Previous Arrests
Following the June arrests, investigators focused their attention on two Hmong men, Sanan and Suradet, who were unemployed but suspiciously wealthy. The two were known to frequent cockfighting events. During August, they were observed driving separately into the mountains along the border in Chiang Rai’s Muang district. Authorities believed they were involved in smuggling drugs into the country.
The Night of the Arrest
On the night of September 6, Sanan and Suradet were seen traveling in separate pickup trucks towards tambon Mae Khao Tom. One of the vehicles briefly left the main road to enter a corn plantation, then returned about 30 minutes later. Both trucks began traveling back along the same route.
A road checkpoint was quickly established in tambon Ban Du. Sanan’s vehicle was stopped, with Don as his passenger. A search revealed 10 fertilizer sacks, each containing 200,000 meth pills, totaling 2 million pills. Suradet’s truck was later found abandoned before the checkpoint, with no sign of the driver.
Confessions and Ongoing Investigation
During questioning, Sanan reportedly confessed that Suradet had hired him and Don to collect the drugs from an unknown individual on Road 1418 in Chiang Rai and deliver them to a garbage dump on Road 131 between Ban Du and Huai Pla Kang. Sanan claimed he was paid 10,000 baht for his involvement and had completed similar jobs twice before. Don stated he was being paid 5,000 baht.
Authorities are currently attempting to locate Suradet and gather more information to dismantle the drug smuggling operation.
- Two suspected drug couriers arrested in Chiang Rai
- 2 million methamphetamine pills seized
- Suspects linked to previous arrests and ongoing investigation
- Confessions and search for additional suspects underway