Chinese man and his Thai wife arrested for illegal possession of guns

Police search home in Phuket, photo by The Phuket Express.

A Chinese man and his Thai wife were arrested for illegally possessing several guns in their Phuket luxury home. Police searched the house of the Chinese man and his Thai wife in the Kathu district on Friday after the man had reportedly shown off his weapons on social media.

The police found 18 firearms, most of which were BB guns. However, some guns were modified to be applicable with real ammunition, according to the authorities.

The 29 year old Thai wife, Sapaworn, told police that some of the weapons were registered under her name and some were not registered. She reportedly confessed that all the firearms were real and they had never been granted permission to possess or use them, The Phuket Express reported.

The two were taken to a police station and initially charged with possessing firearms without authorization.

Thailand was ranked as Southeast Asia’s second most-dangerous country in terms of gun crime after the Philippines. Thailand recorded 2,351 firearms deaths in 2019 – approximately 31% higher than the numbers for Pakistan, a country routinely described as “war-torn” and an alleged home of thousands of terrorists.

A report by Thai PBS last month revealed some alarming facts about gun use in Thailand. People in Thailand hold an estimated 10.3 million guns both legally and illegally. As of last year, the number of registered guns in Thailand totalled just over six million, according to the Interior Ministry. That means there are four million unregistered or illicit firearms in the kingdom.

Following the horrific massacre in northeast Thailand earlier this month, it was agreed that gun and ammunition laws would be enforced strictly with an emphasis on gun licenses and permits for possessing and carrying firearms. The government is also pushing for a new amnesty law that would allow people to hand in illegal firearms to the state without facing prosecution.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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