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In a high-speed chase reminiscent of the scene in The Bourne Identity, four armed members of a drug gang were arrested on Wednesday (November 5) after they crashed in Thalang while being pursued by police.
At 9:45am, as part of the crime and drug suppression campaign leading up to yesterday’s Loy Kratong Festival, Thalang police set up a security checkpoint on the Old Airport Rd in Thepkrassatri, stopping vehicles to check for illegal items.
Lt Suchart Leicha, accompanied by a subordinate, gave chase in a police pick-up.
Lt Suchart ordered his man to shoot out the tyres on the truck ahead but the shots missed, hitting the back of the truck.
So Lt Suchart sped up and slammed into the fleeing truck, ramming it off the road in front of Baan Phru Samphan Mosque. The blue truck took out two motorcycles but luckily only one of the riders was injured, and that lightly.
Lt Suchart was slightly injured as his truck, too, went off the road.
The suspects, trying to collect their wits after the crash, found themselves surrounded by an angry mob of locals who gave one of them a good whack on the head.
More police arrived at the scene and arrested the four occupants of the truck who gave up without a fight – which was just as well since a search of the vehicle uncovered a home-made pistol and a pump-action shotgun with five shells.
The search also turned up three bags of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice) together weighing 60 grams, and a set of scales.
The four men were identified as Chinnawat Prampri, 24 (the driver), Pornchai Shaitung, 32 (who took the whack over the head from the mob), Detnarong Sangjan, 29, and “Toon”, 25.
They were taken to Thalang Police Station for interrogation by the Phuket anti-narcotics squad headed by Col Arayapan Pukbaokhaw.
Col Arayapan said afterwards that Pornchai had admitted that the two guns and the ya ice belonged to him.
“I bought the drugs for B20,000 in Thalang for me and my friends to use,” he said. “The guns were for my protection.
“We were driving around looking for my girlfriend, who is upset with me, and we drove through the roadblock to avoid being searched,” Pornchai said.
Police were not entirely convinced; they believe the four suspects were “up to no good” and probably “had big plans” that were thwarted by the chase, crash and arrests.
Police learned that Pornchai was only recently released from Phuket Prison where he was serving time for robbery, and the other three all had arrest records for drug possession.