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Mae Hong Son Border Shoot Out Yields 40,000 Yabaa Pills

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Mae Hong Son border shoot out yields 40,000 yabaa pills

Chiang Rai arrest uncovers 14,000 yabaa pills.

Khajohn Boonpath & Supoj Thiamyoj

Acting on a tip off on the plans of a drug smuggling ring to move quantities of yabaa into Thailand a special unit of the 7th Infantry, in a joint effort with the Special Task Force encountered 3 armed men near the village of Ban Hua Lang in Mae Hong Son during a patrol on January 10.The men opened fire on the task force when encountered and fled into the jungle, abandoning their backpack which contained 40,000 yabaa pills.

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Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthon Thawonsathit and military personnel inspect the haul of 40, 000 yabaa pills discovered after a shoot out between drug traffickers and Army personnel.

It is believed that the uniformed men were members of the UWSA or the United Wa State Army. It was believed that at least one of the men was injured but that they crossed back over the border into Myanmar. The UWSA is a well equipped military force and widely believed to be the biggest single drug producing and trafficking group in South East Asia. While the UWSA stated last year to have taken a harder line on drug trafficking, large numbers of drugs are still found crossing the border. Last November the Task Force arrested 3 men carrying 300,000 yabaa tablets over the border from Myanmar.

Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthon Thawonsathit revealed that they have information that a major drug trafficker in Myanmar plans to send a large influx of drugs into Thailand so blockades and patrols have been stepped up in the border area and a raid by rangers is planned in an effort to combat the increased trafficking.

In Chiang Rai, The Pa Muang Task Force and Wiang Kaen police uncovered 14,000 yabaa pills hidden in a recycling truck after receiving a tip off. The truck was discovered travelling from Wiang Kaen to Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai on January 14. One man and three women were taken into custody and taken to Wiang Kaen Police station for further questioning.

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-- Chiang Mai Mail 2010/01/19

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