Border patrol seizes meth, ketamine after clash with smugglers

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Soldiers with rucksacks containing meth pills and ketamine abandoned by smugglers following a brief firefight near the Myanmar border in Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai on Thursday. (Photo supplied/ Phanumet Tanraksa)

CHIANG MAI: A border patrol seized more than 4 million methamphetamine pills, 26 kilogrammes of ketamine and an improvised grenade abandoned by smugglers as they fled following a brief clash in Mae Ai district on Thursday.

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A team of army rangers and drug suppression police spotted four armed men walking near the Myanmar border in tambon Tha Mae Sao of Mae Ai district around 1.50pm.

Signalled to stop they instead fired shots at the patrol, sparking an exchange of gunfire lasting about five minutes, according to the official report. The gunmen then melted away into the forest. There were no injuries on either side and no arrests.

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A search of the area found three assault rifles and ammuniton, 32 rucksacks containing 4.22 million meth pills, 26kg of ketamine, a home-made grenade, three mobile phones, a walkie-talkie and clothing.

Pha Muang task force commander Maj Gen Nopparit Thawornwong led senior officers from the 3rd Army to inspect the scene of the clash and the seized drugs.

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On Wednesday, an army patrol seized 200,000 meth pills and 750 grammes of heroin in drink bottles abandoned by armed men following a clash near the Myanmar border, also in Mae Ai district.

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Weapons and clothing found following the clash. (Photo supplied)

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Army rangers carry away rucksacks found in the forest after a border patrol clashed with drug smugglers in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai, on Thursday. (Photo supplied)

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