Large number of arms found in Thailand's coordinated crackdowns

Large number of arms found in Thailand's coordinated crackdowns
Some 27 rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs, were found abandoned in Chon Buri yesterday along with five boxes of ammunition for unspecified firearms behind a school in Muang district. Police say they may have been discarded by people who feared being caught.

Separately, police also found a cache of heavy weapons abandoned in Chon Buri province and some ammunition dumped in a wastewater pipe in Nonthaburi. Police believe these munitions were abandoned because people feared harsh punishment under martial law.

Pol Lt General Detnarong Suthichanbancha of Provincial Police Region 4 said the 279 teams led intelligence and sting operations before laying siege to 500 areas and 2,700 illegal entertainment venues. Some 3,413 suspects were rounded up and slapped with charges ranging from gambling, drug trafficking, prostitution and the illegal possession of arms.

Of those arrested, 382 were charged with illegally possessing arms - 407 guns, 1,028 bullets and seven grenades were seized from them.

In Sakon Nakhon province, a large arms factory was raided, while in border provinces such as Mukdahan, Bueng Kan and Nong Khai province, police found a large number of motorcycle parts believed to have been stolen or exchanged for drugs. This was in addition to the guns, ammunitions and narcotics found.

Detnarong said results of the operation were satisfactory, adding that it should help cut down on crime, and ensure peace and order.

Meanwhile, the cache found in Chon Buri included 27 rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and five boxes of ammunitions for unspecified weapons abandoned near a fence opposite a house that had been rented out.

Caretaker commissioner of Provincial Police Region 2 Pol Maj-General Sanit Mahataworn said owners of these discarded weapons would face a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison under martial law.

He said he would instruct officers under his jurisdiction to launch public campaigns to encourage people who possess weapons to hand them in to arms registrars or face harsh penalties.

In Nonthaburi's Muang district, police found 30 11mm bullets and a cartridge of 11mm bullets abandoned in a wastewater pipe opposite a condominium building.

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