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Thai police squash pumpkin smuggling ring from Laos to Mukdahan

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

The Thai police and related services intercepted an illegal shipment of 1,170 kilogrammes of pumpkins being smuggled from Laos into Mukdahan, Thailand. The suspects fled upon seeing officials, leaving behind the contraband valued at 35,000 baht.

A coordinated operation involving the Surasak Montri Army, Phayanakrit Special Task Force, Mukdahan Plant Quarantine Station, Mukdahan Animal Quarantine Station, and Wan Yai Police Station led to the seizure of agricultural goods. The operation took place in Wan Yai District, Mukdahan Province.

Information about the planned smuggling had been received, prompting officials to set up a perimeter and conduct surveillance in the area. The police stationed their patrol units strategically in Village No. 2, Ban Wan Noi, anticipating the arrival of the contraband.

During the operation, officers observed a group of eight to ten individuals transporting suspicious brown sacks into a warehouse near the Mekong River. Officials approached the group to search.

The suspects panicked upon seeing the authorities and immediately fled the scene.

Officials from the Mukdahan Plant Quarantine Station then inspected the surrounding area and discovered that the brown sacks contained pumpkins. Some 39 sacks, each weighing approximately 30 kilogrammes, were found. The combined weight of the pumpkins was around 1,170 kilogrammes. Additionally, a large three-wheeled cart was discovered at the site. The total value of the seized goods is estimated at 35,000 baht.

Officers confiscated all the items and handed them over to the Wan Yai Police Station for further investigation and to identify and prosecute those involved in the smuggling operation.

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The smuggled pumpkins, now in the custody of the police, will likely be destroyed as they were brought into the country without proper quarantine procedures, posing a potential risk to local agriculture, reported KhaoSod.

The interception underscores the ongoing efforts of local and regional law enforcement agencies to combat illegal activities along the Thai-Laos border. The Mekong River, which forms a natural boundary between the two countries, is often used as a route for various smuggling operations, from agricultural products to more illicit goods.

Crime NewsThailand News

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