PHUKET TOWN: Police yesterday seized a haul of weapons and ammunition at Por Pichai raft on Sri Sena Rd. The man arrested in possession of them told police that the weaponry was bound for “terrorists in Indonesia”. About 20 officers, including Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi and Phuket Town and Marine Police officers, nabbed 36-year-old Prachumpon Raampung, from Trang, while he was carrying a box along the raft. In his possession they found six rocket-propelled grenades, two hand grenades, two M-67 shells, 605 rounds of AK47 ammunition and six flares. Prachumpon’s pick-up truck was also seized as evidence. Pol Lt Col Thawat Pinprayong, Deputy Superintendent of the Phuket Marine Police, told the Gazette, “The special unit from Phuket Town Police Station grabbed the suspect. He was arrested while transporting weapons from his Toyota Tiger pick-up to the boat.” Prachumpon confessed that it was the third time he had been hired to transport a supply of weapons to the raft, and that he was paid 200,000 baht per delivery. The weapons were brought in from Prachin Buri province, he told police, and were to be shipped to terrorists in Indonesia. Col Thawat said police doubted Prachumpon’s story and further investigation was underway. “He mentioned that the weapons would be transferred to Indonesia, but we don’t believe him,” he explained. The colonel refused to give further comment on where police believe the weapons were headed, but added that officers had been tracking the movements of Prachumpon and others for about two weeks. Prachumpon was charged with possession of weapons of war. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Phuket has in the past been used as a port for exporting weaponry to the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka.
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