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2 Wa Drug Traffickers Killed In Shoot Out With Pha Muang Task Force


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2 Wa drug traffickers killed in shoot out with Pha Muang Task Force

Two other arrests yield 120,000 yabaa tablets

Supoj Thiamyoj / Nopniwat Krailerg/ Kanchanit Manukkong & Kanayuth Danmek

Acting on a tip off that a major drug delivery was expected, Major General Prakarn Chonlayuth, Commander of the Pha Muang Task Force, ordered troops to patrol the area of Mae Ai district that borders Burma. On Sunday, December 6, the patrol encountered 5-6 uniformed and armed men presumed to be members of the United Wa State Army near the village of Taton, also known as Laota.

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Pha Muang Task Force patrol view the body of one of the Wa Army soldiers, and the cash and weapons found with him.

The Task Force patrol attempted to arrest the men but a ten minute shoot out ensued. After the remaining men fled, the patrol discovered the bodies of two men wearing the uniform of the Wa army, one AK-47 and 1.7 million baht in a black bag. It is believed that the men had crossed the border to collect earnings from drug sales in Thailand. The Task Force suspects that local influential people are involved in drug trafficking with the Wa army and plan to take action to halt the sales of drugs across the border in that area.

On the 2nd, Police arrested a man with 80,000 Yabaa pills hidden in plastic bags in the fuel tank of a Mitsubishi pickup truck in Chiang Dao. Kanchanaburi resident, Pairat Posawaeng, 38, was stopped in a routine traffic stop at a police checkpoint near the Chaiprakarn District Police Station, police were alerted by his suspicious behavior and decided to search the vehicle where they discovered the drugs. Pairat has been charged with possession of a Class A drug with intent to sell.

Pairat confessed to police that he had been hired by two men in Kanchanaburi, Akom Nilsawat and Narongchai Klaigek, to travel with them to Fang in a black Nissan pickup truck. In Fang, they picked up the Mitsubishi, which Pairat drove back while the two men led in the Nissan. Police are on the lookout for the black Nissan since it had already passed through the checkpoint when Pairat was stopped. Pairat has a record of arrest for drug use in Kanchanaburi.

Police believe that this group, operating out of Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri and other Central provinces, are obtaining the drugs from the Wei Sia Kan gang based in the border area adjacent to Chaiprakarn, Fang and Tadon districts in Chiang Mai. The value of the confiscated Yabaa could be as high as 16 million baht.

On December 9 the Pha Muang clashed with another group of drug smugglers in Ban Huay San, Mae Ai district, resulting in the arrest of Lang Shang, 28, who was found in possession of 40,000 yabaa pills. He told members of the task force that he had been hired to transport drugs for 10,000 baht each trip.

Major General Prakarn Chonlayuth, Commander of Pha Muang Task Force, Third Army Region ordered the military rangers' task force from the Third Army Region's Operations Center, the 4th Calvary Regiment to set up roadblocks until December 12 as the unit had received a tipoff that a drug gang was planning to bring large amounts of drugs over the border.

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Third Region Army Commander Lt. Gen. Thanongsak Apirakyothin and Commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 Pol. Lt. Gen. Somkid Boonthanom announced the arrest and drug seizure drug arrest at Pha Hong checkpoint in Chaiprakarn district in Chiang Mai.



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-- Chiang Mai Mail 2009/12/16


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The United Wa State Army is a quite well known organization in Myanmar, they are considered by many to be some of the biggest drug traffickers in the region.

Both the Thai and US governments believe that the lions share of drugs from Burma move through Thailand via the Wa army.

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