Thai commandos seize guns in raids, no arrests made

Police commandos fast-rope from a helicopter during a raid in Nakhon Si Thammarat province to apprehend an unknown number of gunmen, as 15 other raids are conducted simultaneously in the province yesterday. There were no arrests.

A 1,000-strong joint police-army operation yesterday resulted in simultaneous raids at 16 locations in Nakhon Si Thammarat in an attempt to arrest seven influential local politicians and an unknown number of guns for hire over their alleged involvement in a series of crimes - including high-profile murders.

There were no arrests.

The operation, which included police commandos fast-roping from a helicopter, resulted in nearly 100 firearms being seized, said acting Crime Suppression Division commander Pol Maj-General Akkharadej Phimolsri.

Akkharadej said the authorities also wanted to suppress or arrest a large number of gunmen working for various gun-for-hire rackets based in this southern province.

The registration details of the guns were being checked, he said.

Those targeted in the raids were connected or related to local administrative officials, kamnan and village heads, he said.

He told the son of a suspect identified as "Councillor Yuen" to tell his father to turn himself in in two weeks or face stiffer suppression.

The fugitive councillor is suspected of being behind several crimes.

The other wanted politicians are Kamnan Somboon Chumthong from Chu-uat district; Kamnan Khaneung Inkheeree (Na Bon district); Khwanchai Rodmanee, a son of Councillor Yuen (district unknown); Yutthana Rodmanee, a relative of Councillor Yuen (district unknown); Councillor Sahas Suwanmanee (Chawang district); Kamnan Charoen Chinnawong (Pak Phanang district); and Itthichai Rodmanee, a relative of Councillor Yuen (district unknown).