Golden gunmen set to repel crime wave in Thailand’s Wild West

In the lawless shopping malls of Mae Sot – Thailand’s Dodge City – golden gunmen are set to a repel crime wave.

Gold shop owners in the western border province are being given firearms training, as an epidemic of armed robberies grips the Thai side of the frontier with Myanmar.

Three gold shops in the province have been held up at gunpoint recently, according to The Nation, as an ongoing conflict between the Burmese junta and independent terrorist armies rages just over the Moie River.

The training is being conducted as part of the Royal Thai Police’s crime suppression policy to ensure safe firearm usage among both police officers and civilians, said Mae Sot police chief Col Monsak Kae-On.

The golden gunmen, and gunwomen, attended training on Sunday at Ban Khang Phibal firing range in Mae Sot where they were given no-nonsense lessons on shooting, including the correct stance, how to hold the gun safely, how to aim and control breathing, and even more deadly – or life-saving – skills.

In February a customer was killed when robbers attacked a shop in the Phop Phra district. Armed robbers then struck at gold shops in Mueang district in May and earlier his month.

In the latest robbery, on December 8, four robbers opened fire on a gold shop’s window, but the owner returned fire, wounding one suspect. Police managed to collar the wounded man and another suspect, while the other two robbers are believed to have fled across the border to Myanmar.

There are about 25 gold shops in Mae Sot. All are expected to see brisk business around the new year period, a traditional time to buy gold.

Monsak said…

“Firearms training could be beneficial to shop owners in protecting their lives and property in an emergency, especially during the new year holidays.”

Golden gunmen set to repel crime wave in Thailand's Wild West | News by Thaiger
In Thailand, the new year period is a traditional time to buy gold.


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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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