In a continuing operation against an alleged transnational gang of arms dealers, police announced yesterday that they had arrested a Chinese national and two Thai accomplices and seized several weapons in their possession.
Earlier they had nabbed two Chinese male twins on charges of dealing and illegally disposing weapons in Chon Buri.
Acting national police chief Pol General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said the gang bought and sold weapons over the Internet.
After receiving a request from the Chinese Embassy last month, police managed to track down the Chinese twins - Yi Po and Yi Tao - while investigating the recent disposal of guns in tambon Nong Ree of Chon Buri's Muang district.
Police apprehended the three suspects - identified as Houng Tsu Kang, Seksan Satthai, 42, and Sakhon Chairos, 32 - along with six pistols, three shotguns and 100 rounds of ammunition.
Watcharapol said police now had complete information about the gang's trade and would help their Chinese counterparts make more arrests in China and find out what the weapons were to be used for.
Watcharapol hailed this breaking up of the transnational weapons gang, saying that this would prove that authorities in Thailand - a country often accused of allowing arms smuggling to other countries - didn't ignore gun-running activities and came down heavily on such crimes.
Planning to monitor closely
He said police would further investigate cases in which teenagers in the East of Thailand were allegedly buying guns online to ensure the weapons do not end up with criminals.
Watcharapol said transnational trading of arms or distribution via the Internet was on the rise and it was the police units' responsibility to monitor and arrest violators of law.
He said police would also crackdown on pornographic websites and those selling illegal items.
Acting Provincial Police Region 2 chief Pol Maj-General Sanit Mahataworn said the Chinese arms gang sent its members to Thailand more than a year ago to have Thai accomplices order registered guns from licence holders.
He said the group bought war weapons and bullets from the border areas, an activity the police would also be cracking down upon. He said this case did not have anything to do with the ongoing political situation.