The Nation



Smuggling suspect dies in Chiang Rai clash

A clash on Wednesday afternoon between paramilitary rangers and armed men allegedly smuggling drugs at the border area in Chiang Rai's Mae Fa Luang district led to one suspect's death, while the rangers seized 3.5 kilograms of heroin and 2,000 yaba pills.

As senior officials inspected the scene of the clash in Mae Salong Nok subdistrict yesterday, Colonel Watcharapong Kaewjaeng, commander of Pha Muang’s Special Force 31, said he had been instructed to bring rangers to stake out the area after a tip that illegal drugs would be smuggled through Chiang Rai. When the rangers came across the armed men, they signalled for the suspects to stop and let them search their sacks. He said the suspects opened fire first, resulting in a 10-minute gunfight, before the suspects retreated.

The rangers later found the body of an unnamed suspect and found the heroin, yaba and a grenade in his sack. Police were investigating the identity of the deceased.

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