Police seize 263 guns in 15 days in southern Thailand

Image via KhaoSod

The Royal Thai Police confiscated 263 guns and 1,702 rounds of ammunition in eight provinces of southern Thailand over a 15-day period this month.

Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a crackdown on illegal firearms following the massacre at a daycare centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province earlier this month.

Between October 10-24, police confiscated 263 firearms in Provincial Police Region 8, which covers Krabi, Chumphon, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong and Surat Thani provinces.

Police made 363 arrests and confiscated 260 regular firearms, three war-scale firearms, and 1,702 rounds of ammunition.

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Commander of Provincial Police Region 8 Pol. Lt. Gen. Surapong Thanomjit said that guns are frequently used in crimes in Thailand. He said firearms are a huge problem causing loss of life every day. The police officer said the presence of guns in Thailand is instilling fear into the population.

The officer said the force is cracking down on illegal guns by command of PM Prayut, who recently ordered the police to prevent gun crime in the kingdom. PM Prayut also declared a crackdown on drugs, especially methamphetamine.

Yesterday, a SWAT police officer fired 11 shots at a man in a nightclub in Trang province, southern Thailand, with a 9mm Glock. He killed one man and injured two more before going on the run.

Thailand ranks 15th among countries with the highest numbers of gun-related deaths worldwide and 2nd in Southeast Asia, after the Philippines, according to the World Population Review.

Thailand has the highest gun possession in Southeast Asia because guns are easy to purchase legally or illegally. Among 10,342,000 guns recorded in Thailand in 2017, 6,221,180 were legally registered and the rest were illegal.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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