Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Stem the growing tide of gun crimes in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The recent surge in the number of violent crimes involving firearms needs to be addressed by authorities immediately, otherwise Phuket’s self-designated sobriquet “Pearl of the Andaman” risks being inadvertently changed to “Arsenal of the Andaman”.

Few regular readers of the Phuket Gazette will have failed to notice an apparent upsurge in gun crime this high season. This is perhaps not unexpected, as the island’s population swells with tourists from across the Northern Hemisphere.

Unfortunately, recent events indicate that firearms are far too easy to obtain in Phuket.

It is not surprising that locals such as the hired gunmen who assassinated Jintana Mahattanapak (story here) late last month are able to access firearms. However, the recent trend of even foreigners managing to acquire and use these restricted weapons in public is dumbfounding.

In one of the latest shocking incidents, two innocent German tourists in Patong were wounded by stray bullets fired by a tattoo-covered Australian (story here), adding a whole new dimension to the term “farang on farang crime”, as the intended target was a “mafioso” from Denmark.

That Phuket is awash in illegal firearms comes as little surprise to most residents, but the spread of illegal firearms into the expat community here seems to indicate that these weapons are increasingly easy to obtain.

Of course Phuket is not the only place in Thailand where firearms are easy to acquire. But unlike the Deep South, where assault rifles are as ubiquitous as gang som, Phuket at least has some natural barriers to stymie the flow of firearms onto the island, at least by road. Every land vehicle passing onto the island is subject to inspection at the Tah Chat Chai Checkpoint (map here), yet there are relatively few reports of seizures of drugs, guns and other contraband therefrom, even though these are clearly in abundance across the island.

As only the most idiotic of criminals would ever attempt to board an aircraft with a firearm, this begs the question: where are all these firearms coming from? The Gazette is aware that many yacht owners are in possession of illegal firearms, but in most cases these are needed to ensure their safety when navigating international waters and are rarely fired in tourist-dense areas of the island.

Given the current trend in gun-related crime, as well as the fact that we are now in the midst of a police “safety campaign” (story here), now is the time for police to not only arrest and charge those caught with illegal firearms, but also to conduct thorough investigations into where and how these weapons were obtained. This is our only hope to reduce the number of firearms on the island or, ideally, eliminate them altogether.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs13 hours ago

Meth busts yield 882,000 pills and 5.6kg of meth in Songkhla

Protests13 hours ago

Coup anniversary marked by car mob with over 1000 vehicles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Government speeds rollout with 152.9 million vaccines this year

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket15 hours ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Politics15 hours ago

Nida Poll: PM Prayut shouldn’t take over PPRP or form new party

Thailand17 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat prison sealed off as infections climb

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand17 hours ago

Lack of migrant workers forces government to appeal to Thais to fill vacant jobs

Thailand18 hours ago

Songkhla motorcycle showroom catches on fire, no injuries reported

Phuket18 hours ago

Covid-19 prison death yesterday the second this week in Phuket

Thailand19 hours ago

Unemployed Bangkok chef arrested after allegedly trying to sell rare butterflies to undercover agents

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 Phuket Prison death, 1 Sandbox infection

Central Thailand20 hours ago

Bovine attack kills forest ranger in Khao Yai National Park

Thailand21 hours ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Thailand22 hours ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending