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7 Men Drowned in Reservoir Near Myanmar Border, Autopsy Finds

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Mae Sai in Chiang Rai is a major border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar

Mae Sai in Chiang Rai is a major border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar. Photo: Tevaprapas.

An official autopsy has determined that seven men, whose bodies were found floating in a reservoir under military control near Thailand’s border with Myanmar last month, all died of drowning, a police investigator said Thursday.

The bodies were discovered in Mae Sai, a district of northern Chiang Mai that is known for being rife with drug smuggling across the Thai-Myanmar frontier. On Thursday, Chiang Rai Hospital officials released the autopsy report to the investigator, Lt. Col. Surapol Petchpisitpong, who is assigned to the Ko Chang police station.

“The doctors concluded that the cause of death was drowning. There were no gunshot wounds or physical injuries,” Surapol told BenarNews by phone. Chiang Rai province is about 880 km (546 miles) north of Bangkok.

Surapol said the autopsy confirmed his preliminary investigation after the bodies were discovered on Feb. 27. He reported seeing no signs of gunshot wounds or of physical struggles that could have led to the drownings.

Soldiers in Mae Sae said they had exchanged gunfire with about 20 suspected drugs traffickers near the frontier on Feb. 24, leading to speculation that the seven corpses found three days later could have been members of that group, according to media reports at the time.

Surapol said only one of the victims could be identified, adding he could not determine how the victims ended up in the reservoir or if they were involved in the gunfight three days earlier.

Full story: BenarNews

Nontarat Phaicharoen

Copyright ©2020, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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