A GUNFIGHT broke out between drug traffickers carrying methamphetamine pills in backpacks and a team of rangers just a kilometre from the Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai province last night (Oct. 4), Naewna newspaper said this morning.
Maj. Gen. Supharek Sathapornphon, commander of Pha Muang Task Force of the 3rd army region, sent a team of rangers to patrol the border at Doi Lang mountain in Mae Ai district.
As the team walked through a forested area high up the mountain in Ban Na Ma-Uen area they ran into a group of 30 men with 25 carrying knapsacks and the five others armed. The rangers sent a signal to stop for a search but the drug runners immediately opened fire at them leading to a clash.
After the fighting subsided the rangers surrounded the clash area and called for reinforcement. However as it was dark and this area heavily forested and just a kilometre from the border, the team could just guard it till morning.
Today they found six backpacks filled with 760,000 meth pills and possibly other drugs too but this has still to be checked. No drug runners were around but traces of blood were found indicating that the drug traffickers had moved their wounded or dead teammates back to the neighbouring country.
Further investigation is continuing to track down the drug traffickers for legal proceedings.
Initially it is believed that these drug runners were from the Muser group in Myanmar and they had planned to bring a total of 50 backpacks of meth pills to Thailand in two rounds with their men carrying 25 of them per round.
The forested area where the fierce clash between rangers and drug runners took place last night and the drugs seized. Photos: Naewna