Seize Drugs: Thai police have seized more than 22 million methamphetamine pills in the northern province of Chiang Rai, near the border with Myanmar, authorities said on Monday (Oct 15), in the latest major drugs bust in the region.

Police said over 12.2 million of the pills, known as “yaba” or “crazy drug”, were seized on Saturday and 10 million on Sunday. They did not reveal the value of the haul, but based on estimates from recent seizures, the pills could be worth about 2.35 billion baht (US$71 million).

Police and the Narcotics Suppression Bureau displayed the haul which was neatly packaged into fertiliser bags – each containing 400,000 pills, along with other drug seizures from seven cases over the past two weeks.

They included 100 kilograms of crystal meth, 1.8 tonnes of marijuana and 8 kilograms of cocaine.

Thirteen suspects have been arrested in connection with the cases, six in relation to Saturday’s bust, police said.

According to the Bangkok Post, three men – Withoon Piyapipattarakul, 35, Witthaya Wongbunchailert, 32, and Awichart Songsitthichaoren, 33 – were among those arrested on Saturday.

The police were tipped off that a large amount of drugs from Phaya Mengrai district would be smuggled to central Chiang Rai by a drug trafficking gang, and dispatched teams to monitor smuggling routes.

In the operation on Sunday, police seized drugs that were abandoned after a chase involving a pickup truck that did not stop for a search when requested.

Investigations are still ongoing