It was a joint effort between military and police from Region 5.
When: December 4th, 2020
Where: Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces
Perpetrators: 10 suspects of drug smuggling and dealing
Victims: Casualties of the drug war
What: December is starting out to be a busy month for law enforcement in the north. A press conference was given on December 4th, which included police, military, and the Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai, to discuss 3 cases where 10 suspects had been charged with dealing and smuggling. Drugs and property seized included 1 million yaba tabs, 150 kilograms of ice, 10 kilograms of ketamine, and 5,494,500 baht in cash.
The cases were being investigated in various districts throughout Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces, including Chiang Saen, Mae Sai, Mae Chan, Mae Fah Luang, and Mae Ai districts. The press conference noted that the integrated work of law enforcement in the region helped bring down the suspects. It was also noted that the cartels have modified their methods of transporting drugs, using different border and mountain trails.
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My take: A fairly decent size bust and seizure in the north, but nothing record-breaking. What will be interesting to watch in the future though is how the drug trade adapts to the increased presence of law enforcement and army on the norther border regions as they prevent COVID-19 from entering the country. Ironically, the virus can be a game changer for the illicit trade.