Man armed with a pen gun arrested at seminar visited by PM Prayut

Photo via Royal Thai Government

The Thai Air Force bomb squad quickly dealt with a potential threat to the life of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha when an abusive man with a pen gun turned up at a seminar the PM was addressing.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOC) arrested the armed man yesterday at the seminar in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

PM Prayut joined the Revolution in Farming for Sustainability meeting in the Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai and was met with some hostile comments.

Khaosod reported that about five noisy locals climbed onto a pickup and insulted the PM while he was travelling from Mae Fah Luang Airport to the event. The officers from Baan Du Police Station managed to deal with the situation and all of the hecklers were fined 500 baht for insulting the PM and causing chaos.

But that’s not all.

When PM Prayut arrived at the seminar he was met by another divisive man who abused the prime minister. EOC officers quickly moved in and arrested the man at the entrance of the seminar and found that he was armed.

The 66 year old man they arrested, Wicharn Gaweewong, is the vice president of the Chiang Mai community rice centre. He walked into the event with a hidden pen gun. Fortunately, officers frisked the man and found the pen gun, .22 bullets, and an unidentified bullet hidden in his pocket before he had a chance to use it.

Wicharn was then taken to the Internal Security Operations Command office for questioning where he told officers that the gun belonged to one of his children who had died.

The seminar ended well. PM Prayut took a helicopter at Baan Nam Ma Schook and travelled back to Bangkok safely. Before leaving, the PM urged students to pay attention in lessons, take care of their parents and teachers, and learn more about Thai history.

The PM also quashed accusations of electioneering. The 68 year old Thai premier insisted that he came to learn more about local living and denied he joined the seminar to solicit votes in the next general election.

He said…

“Don’t think that I came here to earn more votes, I didn’t. I came here to learn more to improve my work. How long I will stay as the PM is depended on the democratic process and election. I came to follow up on the development from the budget that I had approved.”

Locals insult PM Prayut
Photo via Matichon

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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