CHIANG RAI – Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force have shot and killed four men following a clash with 30 drug runners near the border with Myanmar in Mae Sai district late on Saturday night, 340 kilograms of ketamine was seized.
Maj Gen Wichit Wongsang, commander of the Pha Muang Force, told Thai media that soldiers were acting on tip that a large quantity of drugs would be delivered across the border, soldiers from the drug suppression unit of the Pha Muang Force were deployed on the Thai side of the Ruak stream bordering Thailand and Myanmar near Ban Pa Daeng in tambon Ko Chang of Mae Sai district.
At about approximately 9pm, soldiers spotted a group of about 30 men, each carrying backpacks, wading across the shallow Ruak stream from Ban Huay Din Dam in Myanmar’s Tachilek province.
When the men reached the Thai side of the stream, soldiers signaled them to stop for a search. The men then reportedly opened fire at the Thai soldiers. The encounter lasted for about 10 minutes. Though none of the officers were injured, four of the suspects were killed while the other runners fled back across the border in the dark.
On Sunday morning, another government force led by Maj Gen Wichit Wongsang and police from tambon Ko Chang examined the scene of the clash.
In a corn plantation about 100 metres from the border, they found the bodies of four men and 17 bags and backpacks left behind by the couriers. The backpacks contained altogether about 340kg of ketamine.
The ketamine have been handed over to related authorities and the case will be followed up with Myanmar authorities.
By Geoff Thomas
Photo’s Chiang Rai Report