Three suspects were arrested, the main leader is still on the run.
When: January 29th, 2021
Where: Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai province
Perpetrators: Unnamed drug network; Mr. La, alias
Victims: One police officer
What: On January 29th, 2021, police clashed with drug traffickers in a lam yai grove in the Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai province. One officer was shot in pursuit of the suspects. After the shootout, the suspects fled and officers deployed a helicopter in pursuit of the suspects.
Local residents panicked after the incident because they’d never experienced something like this before. This is described as an agricultural area with lam yai, longan, and orange groves and is far from any village. There were no reported witnesses from the locals but they did hear the incident go down with several gunshots and the helicopter flying above.
The shootout happened when officers entered the lam yai grove and found 4 men gathered around. When officers approached them, the group used shotguns to shoot at the officers and then fled into the grove.
The suspect is reportedly between 35-40 years old and nicknamed Mr. La and is from a Hmong hill tribe. He is also the chief drug dealer in the area.
Officers were able to seize shotgun ammunition and a motorbike with no license plates.
The officer was brought to a hospital and is expected to recover. Three of the suspects were later arrested, and one is still on the run.
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My take: I was told that the police retreated from this situation after the shootout. This was told to me by a Thai friend who alerted me to the story.
It doesn’t quite say this in the report but it’s how it’s being perceived in some circles of Thai social media. The drug smuggler suspect is being talked about as having defeated the police in the raid.
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