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Drug suspect shot dead in Lamphun, 2 arrested in Prawet

A man was killed in a brief gunfight with police in Lamphun's Mae Tha district on Monday night and police seized 1.2 million 'yaba' pills from his pick-up truck, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Pol Maj Gen Chamnan Ruadrew, said yesterday.

Tak native Noppdaol Phetchkhirirat, 26, was accused of being a member of the drug ring led by alleged Myanmar kingpin Lt Col Yi Sae. He was shot dead after breaking through a checkpoint and crashing his vehicle into a roadside pillar. Police said he tried to flee on foot and reportedly shot at officers who pursued him.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung announced the arrest yesterday of two drug suspects along with 100,000 'yaba' pills and 30 kilograms of crystal meth in Prawet in Bangkok on Monday.

Chalerm, also director of the National Command Centre for Drugs Elimination, said Tara Saemua, 34, and Saengkhai Thepawan, 37, were arrested while allegedly delivering the drugs to each other. An accomplice of Tara, Ruampol Seuksakulwan, fled in a taxi.

Saengkhai claimed to have nothing to do with drug trafficking but said he was hired for Bt500 to pick up a package, so Chalerm said he would ensure justice if that was true.

In related news, paramilitary rangers seized 50 kilograms of dried marijuana from two smugglers on the shore of the Mekong River in Beung Kan's Muang district at 1am yesterday. The suspects managed to flee in a long-tail boat.




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