BANGKOK – Thai police on Thursday seized their third multimillion-pill haul of methamphetamine this year, as the government carries out a newly declared war on drugs.
Thailand is a leading market and transit point for methamphetamine, much of which is produced in neighboring Myanmar. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra declared after taking office last year her government would make a drug crackdown a priority.
Police Col. Suthep Chutimapanya said about 2 million pills were found in a pickup truck abandoned by four suspects near a drug checkpoint in Lampang province's Maeprik district.
One male suspect was captured, but three others escaped even though helicopters were trying to track them.
Police seized more than 4 million tablets two weeks ago at a checkpoint in Chiang Rai province. A house in the Bangkok outskirts that was raided in January held 3.8 million tablets and 156 pounds of crystal meth.
Yingluck's brother Thaksin Shinawatra carried out a similar crackdown on drugs when he was prime minister in 2001-2006, but human rights groups alleged his campaign involved the extrajudicial execution of suspects.
However, the crackdown was popular in some rural areas and slums where the scourge of methamphetamine had led to soaring addiction and crime.