Thai couple arrested for illegal blank gun trade earning 120,000 baht monthly

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A married couple was arrested today for illegally manufacturing and selling blank gun weapons and parts through a closed social media group, earning them an astonishing monthly income of 120,000 baht (US$3,415).

The arrest of the couple, identified as 39 year old Wimol and 37 year old Chanthana, was led by the Special News and Tools Analysis Division of the Royal Thai Police, coordinated by Police Lieutenant Colonel Theeradej Thammasuthee and Police Lieutenant Colonel Jakrawut Khlaynil. They were assisted by the 4th and 5th Operational Units.

The couple faced charges of illegal possession, manufacture, modification, import, and sale of firearms or ammunition without a license. Their illicit operation was revealed following a steady increase in crimes involving firearms, prompting officials to crack down on clandestine online gun networks.

The search was conducted at two separate locations. In Wimol’s residence in Thap Kwang, Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi, officers seized blank guns of .38 calibre, ammunition, and various equipment used to modify guns to fire real bullets, along with other related evidence. A total of 41 items, amounting to 762 pieces, were recovered.

In Chanthana’s residence in the same district, officers seized .38 calibre blank guns, ammunition, and gun modification equipment, alongside other related evidence. Some 16 items were confiscated.

Wimol stated that he had been interested in modifying blank guns for some time, having learned the technique through YouTube videos. After experiencing health problems, including eyesight issues and diabetes in early 2023, he quit his job in construction and ironwork and started working on his interest full-time. His experience in welding and turning iron from his previous job helped him in this venture.

Modified guns

Wimol converted an unused bathroom in his house into a small factory. He sold his modified guns online, pricing the barrels at 16,000 baht (US$455) each, yielding a profit of 8,000 baht (US$227) per barrel after deducting production costs. Gun barrels and modified hammers were priced between 1,500 and 2,000 baht (US$42-57) each, raking in a total monthly income of 120,000 baht. The money was used for family expenses and to fund Chanthana’s meatball business in the local area.

Chanthana admitted that she was aware of her husband’s activities and did not object due to the lucrative income. She, however, did not anticipate that the police would catch up with them, reported KhaoSod.

Both suspects were taken into custody along with all confiscated items and handed over to the Kaeng Khoi District Police in Saraburi for further legal proceedings.

Blank gun trade
Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Easy access to blank guns in Thailand fuels the illegal firearms trade, leading to tragic incidents like the Siam Paragon shooting and the Khlong Toei gunfight. Authorities intensify efforts to curb this alarming trend.

Crime NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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