After receiving a tip that there would be an attempt to smuggle a large amount of illegal drugs into Thailand through the border from Myanmar, Pha Muang force commander Maj Gen Somsak Nilbanjerdkul sent a special task force to patrol the Mae Sai-Koh Chang road in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
The patrol was on the rural road at Ban Wiang Hom when they spotted seven men carrying large fertilizer sacks on their shoulders. They signaled them to stop but the men instead dropped the sacks and fled back over the border to Myanmar.
The soldiers opened the abandoned sacks and found the huge haul of drugs.
The soldiers believed the smugglers were members of a gang run by the self-styled Lt Col Yise of the Black Muser tribe, who bring drugs from factories run by the United Wa State Army (USWA) across the border and then hand them over to other gangs for distribution throughout Thailand.
The USWA is said to be the largest narcotics-producing organisation in Southeast Asia.
This is second time in less than three weeks that border forces have clashed with members of Col Yise’s smuggling gang. On April 24, after a brief firefight, Thai forces captured a wounded gang member and seized a million ya ba pills.
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