Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Burmese drug runners killed by Thai police

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:03 Mizzima News

Thai security forces shot and killed eight suspected Burmese drug smugglers on Monday as they transported drugs in Mae Sai District in far north Thailand, reportedly seizing 154 pounds of methamphetamine pills and 70 kilograms of “ice.” The seizure was one of the largest in recent years.

Thai police Maj. Gen. Surachet Thopunyanon said border police in Mae Sai District had been tipped off and waited near a border crossing for several days, catching members of the drug gang by surprise, according to an Associated Press article on Monday. He said the suspects refused to stop and a shootout erupted.

This undated handout picture, released by the Myanma News Agency (MNA) on Monday, July 16, 2012, shows suspects lined up behind drugs and drug making equipment seized in Laukkai. Burmese authorities hailed progress in their war on drugs after an unprecedented multi-million dollar seizure at an narcotics factory in eastern Shan state. Photo: AFP/ MNA

An article in The Nation on Tuesday said about 100 police and border patrol agents staked out a mountain ridge in Ban Pha Mee, Tambon Wiang Pang Kham, early Monday where they met up with about a dozen armed men who resisted the officials' order to stop and be searched.

Police said the dead appeared to be members of a hill tribe group.

Meanwhile, Burma’s state-controlled Kyemon newspaper said police seized 73 kilograms (161 pounds) of crystal meth and hundreds of pounds of drug-making chemicals worth US$ 3.6 million in a raid on a house in Laukkai near the Chinese border on July 9.

The ethnic regions of northwestern Burma are one of the world’s major producers of illegal methamphetamine, opium and heroin, a derivative.

On July 2, three people were found shot dead onboard a long-tailed speedboat on the Mekong River near the Golden Triangle area, in an incident that had the markings of drug-gang violence.

The dead were believed to be Burmese nationals who were travelling about 10 kilometres north of the Golden Triangle.  Authorities are investigating whether the three people were linked to a drug gang led by Naw Kham, a Burmese drug dealer, who was arrested in Laos and extradited to China in June.

On Oct. 5 last year, 13 Chinese sailors on two Chinese-flagged cargo boats were gunned down in drug-related violence. A group of Thai soldiers have been charged in the deaths.

Leave a Reply