THAILAND - The Crime Suppression Division has arrested a metal lathe shop employee and his wife for allegedly selling more than 1,000 pen guns and ammunition through a Facebook "shop" since 2012.
Chatchai Yoocharoen, 47, and Ban-on Neungdithi, 52, were presented before the media yesterday along with 14 pen guns, three pistols, one shotgun, 371 bullets, 12 post boxes, two bank account books and an ATM card in another person's name, 12 cellphones and 100 post receipts.
They are facing charges of weapons dealing and possessing guns and ammunition unlawfully.
CSD commander Pol Maj-General Supisal Pakdeenaruenart said that after students involved in brawl and shootings told police that they had bought the guns on the Internet, the couple were tracked down via the Facebook "shop".
Supisal said police learned the weapons were sent to customers via post offices in Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya.
He said police staked out the post offices. They saw Bang-on mailing 11 boxes at the Bang Sai post office in Ayutthaya on Friday. The boxes were later found to contain 11 pen guns and 72 bullets.
Police then followed Bang-on to her apartment and presented themselves to arrest her. They also seized from her apartment another three pen guns, three pistols, one shotgun and 299 bullets were seized.
He said police then apprehended her husband, who confessed to supplying guns at Bt1,200 apiece to the Facebook "shop", which then sold them for Bt1,600 apiece.
CSD deputy chief Colonel Akradej Pimolsri said the suspects supplied the weapons nationwide and mostly to youths. They sold 122 guns in 2012, 402 guns in 2013 and 605 guns in 2014.
He said police planned to arrest the couple's accomplices, including the Facebook "shop" owner, and their customers.