BANGKOK: Two drug smugglers were killed on Monday (Sep 10) during an armed skirmish with members of Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) in the mountainous region of Chiang Rai, near the country's border with Myanmar.
According to NSB chief Sommai Kongvisaisuk, authorities seized 27 sacks that contained various drugs including heroin powder and bars, 60kg of Ice and about 2.7 million methamphetamine tablets.
"During a patrol last night, NSB personnel stumbled on a group of 20 men carrying sacks of drugs, sparking an intense firefight lasting about 20 minutes which left two of the armed drug smugglers dead," he told the Bernama news agency.
No NSB officers were injured in the skirmish which took place at Doi Nanglae, in Mueng district of Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai’s mountainous terrain makes it difficult for authorities to monitor.
Chiang Rai has become a favourite route for syndicates to smuggle their drugs into Thailand and other countries in the region. It is located within the “Golden Triangle”, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.
In May last year, a similar firefight between a group of patrolling soldiers and drug smugglers in Chiang Rai near the Myanmar border left nine of the criminals dead.