The bust happened in Phrae province at a checkpoint. The drug runners thought that police would be off-duty for Valentine’s.
On February 16th, 2021, the Royal Thai Police announced the seizure of 551 kilograms of heroin, which was the most that Thailand had ever recovered in a single bust. The drug bust also saw the seizure of 8 million yaba tabs.
The drugs were found on February 14th when police in Phrae arrested Mr. Prida Sanguanhong, 29, from Trat province with the 551 kilos of heroin. The drugs were headed to Pathum Thani in central Thailand. Officers at checkpoints were alerted that major drug running operations would be happening on Valentine’s day. The truck that Mr. Prida was driving was loaded up with mangoes. When officers searched it, they found the hidden heroin.
The second arrest happened at the same checkpoint in Phrae, this time with 8 million yaba tabs. The truck was carrying charcoal. When officers searched the cargo they found the hidden yaba.
The drivers were each given a wage of 100,000 baht to deliver the narcotics. They were instructed to pack the cargo with mangoes and charcoal respectively to conceal the drugs.
The drug runners said that they thought officers would neglect their duties due to Valetine’s day.
Investigators are using the evidence found with these two arrests to take down the wider drug network that is believed to be operating.
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My take: The hill tribe runners are low on the totem pole. These cases usually take a few months to make further arrests down the line — but they do often happen. I’ll keep tabs on the development of this story and report if there are updates.
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