Six protesters suffered gunshot wounds, police tested for drugs

Crystal meth planted in van, say city police

Some amount of crystal meth and equipment used for taking the drugs are found in a police van, but police insist the drugs were planted. (Photo taken from Rangsiman Rome Facebook page)

Fifty-five people were treated for injuries and illness, including six for gunshot wounds, during clashes between rival demonstrators outside parliament on Tuesday

Seven riot police also tested negative for drug use after some crystal methamphtamine and drug implements were found in a police van.

Police claimed the drugs were planted in the vehicle, which had been surrounded and damaged during the confrontation.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau said on Wednesday that all seven officers from Bukkhalo police station travelled in the police van were taken to Bang Pho police station for drug testing.

Initial test results were negative for drug use, Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy MBP chief, said. They were were later sent to Vajira Hospital, and tests made there were also negative.

Pol Maj Gen Piya said someone had placed the drug and paraphernalia inside the police van.  

The van’s windshield was broken and some windows removed, and it was also sprayed with paint.  Items that officers had left in the van were also missing – an iPhone 5S, a watch, a flashlight, Apple Airpods, a bluetooth speaker, a G-shock watch and a digital radio. 

The owners had filed complaints with Bang Pho police station.

Pol Maj Gen Piya said Bukkhalo police were filing a complaint against people who distributed “fake news” regarding the drugs in the police van.

Photos of the drugs in the police vehicle were widely shared after an opposition MP posted them on social media on Tuesday.

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome wrote on his Facebook page: “My team members took the photos of these things. It’s understood that people saw these when demonstrators managed to seize the area and then searched a police vehicle left here. They found crystal meth and equipment used for taking the drug inside. This matter must be seriously investigated. #Nov 17 mob.”

Pol Maj Gen Piya insisted police had followed legal procedures in handing the protest in front of the parliament, in Kiak Kai area, on Tuessday.  He said no rubber bullets or live ammunition had been prepared for the operation

Authorities had repeatedly warned leading demonstrators during the operation, but to no avail, he said.

Demonstrators broke through a police barricade, threw smoke bombs, dismantled barriers and razor wire, and tried to assault police.

Bangkok’s Erawan Medical Centre said a total of 55 people were hurt, six of them for  gunshot wounds and 32 for the effects of teargas.

Four others fell ill and the 13 others had other injuries. They were treated at nine hospitals.

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome posted these photos on his Facebook page on Tuesday, commenting: “My team members took the photos of these things. It’s understood that people saw these when demonstrators managed to seize the area and then searched a police vehicle left here. They found crystal meth and equipment used for taking the drug inside. This matter must be seriously investigated. #Nov 17 mob.”

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