Region 5 Police seized the meth that came through the Mae Fah Luang border areas of Chiang Rai — the final destination for this shipment was Ayutthaya.
On May 5th, 2021, police in Chiang Rai announced the seizure of 5 million yaba tablets and the arrest of three men accused in the smuggling: Mr. Cholatharn Muangprom, 20 years old, from Lamphun; Mr. Ananthaichai Somboon, 28 years old, from Chiang Mai; and Mr. Supotchai Dej, 30 years old, also from Chiang Mai.
The bust follows two years of investigative effort, which started in Chiang Rai in July 2019 when police seized 50 kilograms of crystal meth. This bust revealed Mr. Dej’s involvement in the drug smuggling network, but there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest him.
Another bust in Nong Khai on March 7th, 2021, found 6.2 million tabs of yaba and 12 kilos of crystal meth. The Nong Khai provincial court issued an arrest warrent for Mr. Dej for his involvement in the smuggling.
Police then went on the hunt for Mr. Dej and his associates in the smuggling operation. This culminated in the seizure on May 5th, when Chiang Rai police spotted a gray Isuzu pickup truck that Mr. Dej was known to drive.
Officers tracked Mr. Dej down to a resort in the area of Dongmada subdistrict, Mae Lao district, Chiang Rai province.
At around 8PM, a white Isuzu truck came to the resort, picked up Mr. Dej, and headed off for Chiang Rai city. This truck carrying Mr. Dej joined up with another white Isuzu truck in Chiang Rai city and turned to head towards Chiang Mai.
Police intercepted the trucks and took them to the Mae Suai police station. Mr. Cholatharn was the driver in the vehicle transporting the 5 million yaba tabs; Mr. Ananthachai drove the other truck. Officers also seized Mr. Dej’s gray Isuzu truck at the resort, and took all three vehicles in for inspection.
The drugs crossed at the Thai-Myanmar border somewhere in Mae Fah Luang district, and were brought to Mae Suai district, their final destination being Ayutthaya.
Mr. Dej admitted to paying 200,000 baht to the two other accomplices for their role in transporting the meth.
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