A drug suspect was shot dead during a gunfight with soldiers in Chiang Rai province late on Thursday night, and an estimated 15 million methamphetamine pills were found in his pickup.
Soldiers came under fire from a pickup truck in an apparent bid by the occupant to flee from a checkpoint. Soldiers returned fire and chased the vehicle.
The exchange of gunfire continued as the suspect vehicle drove from Wiang Chai district to Muang district where the pickup finally lost control and crashed.
When soldiers checked the vehicle, they found the body of the drug suspect, identified only as Anat, a 30-year-old Chiang Rai resident.
Next to his body was a gun and in the bed of his pickup were at least 30 sacks of methamphetamine. Authorities estimated the haul at 15 million methamphetamine tablets.
Authorities believe the suspect was affiliated with the gang that lost another member on Tuesday in an extrajudicial killing where 6.1 million meth-amphetamine pills were seized in Chiang Rai’s Doi Luang district.