Weapons caches with M79 grenades & AK-47s common | Bangkok Post: learning

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Weapons caches with M79 grenades & AK-47s common

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Pre-coup arms crackdown reveals countrywide weapons caches commonplace. Raids made in Samut Sakhon, Lop Buri & Bangkok. 

One of the weapons caches seized by army and police last week.


Police make secret weapons public knowledge

The pre-coup crackdown on illegal arms reveals countrywide arms caches are commonplace, with hauls of AK-47s and M79 grenades even being used to justify the military coup


Wassayos Ngamkham

On Wednesday, one day before the military coup was announced, a team of army and police officers launched a series of crackdowns against arms possession aimed at preventing counter-coup fighting.

The crackdown occurred on Wednesday when the combined police and military forces staged raids on sites in Samut Sakhon, Lop Buri, and Bangkok, where they seized a large amount of weapons and explosives.

The first raid was made on an apartment in Krathum Baen district of Samut Sakhon after reports were received it was being used to store firearms.

The authorities seized an AK-47 assault rifle, shotguns, an M79 launcher, eight grenades and identity cards (ID cards) belonging to red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) guards.

About a thousand bullets of various calibres were also confiscated.

A woman identified as Chanthana Warakornskulkij, 44, from Nakhon Ratchasima, who lived in the apartment was arrested and charged with illegal possession of weapons.

The second raid targeted a house in Lop Buri and seized a number of war weapons and explosives.

The house owner was a former military ranger, Chaowat Thongphueak, 54, who was also arrested.

Meanwhile the third arms seizure was made at a vacant house in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district after homeowner Kiettipong Supapwai, 46, informed police that his house had been broken into.

After inspecting the house, police found 140 rounds of ammunition for an M-16 assault rifle and two dummy grenades inside a storeroom, which appeared to have been ransacked.

On the same night, Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police also arrested Prasert Daosuk, 56, from Pratum Thani province and seized an AK-47 and 30 bullets from his bag while he was staying on Utthayan road near the UDD demonstration site.

The police said the largest haul of the crackdown was found at Ms Chanthana’s apartment.

They alleged that she and other red shirts had purchased and stored the firearms in case of a military coup.

A source said that hardcore red shirts placed on soldier’s danger lists can be divided into two groups.

The first comprises red-shirts, including civillians, police and retired soldiers who are manipulated by UDD leaders.

The second comprises red-shirt loyalists like Ms Chanthana, who work independently.

Ms Chanthanna allegedly confessed that she and other hardcore red shirts had bought and collected firearms one after the other over a long period of time.

The police said there are underground arms markets located at Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district, where weapons are smuggled from Cambodia.

Another arms market is in Tak’s Mae Sot border district opposite Myanmar.

According to police, the price of a standard rifle is about 15,000 baht each. An AK-47 or an M16 automatic rifle cost about 25,000-30,000 baht each.

“The seized weapons have been sent to the Office of Forensic Science. They are being examined to see whether they have links to arms traffickers, or whether they relate to security guards of anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee or the UDD,” a CSD source said.

Police said suspects who were arrested following the arms crackdown are under investigation.

The seizures have been cited as reasons that justify the coup, bringing the focus onto ending violence and arms attacks.

Contact Crime Track: crimetrack@bangkokpost.co.th


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aim: the thing you hope to achieve by doing something - เป้าหมาย

allege: to say that something is true or that someone has done something wrong, even though this has not been proved - กล่าวหา

ammunition: bullets, bombs, etc that can be fired from a weapon - อาวุธยุทธภัณฑ์, ลูกกระสุน

announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ

apartment: a set of rooms for living in that is part of a large building - ห้องชุด, อพาร์ทเมนท์

appeared to: seemed to be... , looks like .... -

arms: weapons - อาวุธ

arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

assault rifle: an automatic rifle in the magazine (section of gun that holds bullets - ที่ใส่กระสุน) can be taken off an replaced

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

break into: enter by using force -

bullet: a small, metal object that is shot from a gun - กระสุนปืน

cache: a quantity of things that have been hidden or stored, especially weapons - สิ่งที่ซ่อนไว้

calibre: a measure of the size of a gun and the bullets the gun fires; the length of the gun barrel, the tube through which the bullet travels - ขนาดลำกล้องปืน

charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

combined: joint; done together; belonging to or shared between two or more people - ที่ร่วมกัน, ร่วมมือกัน

commonplace: common; not unusual - สิ่งที่เห็นได้บ่อยๆ

confiscated: officially taken away as a punishment - ยึดทรัพย์

counter: to go against - ต้าน, แย้ง

coup: the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร

crackdown: strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่

demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม

district: an area of a country or town, especially one that has particular features - เขต, บริเวณ, แขวง

dummy: something that is not real and is used for practice or to deceive - ของที่ทำเลียนแบบของจริง

explosives: substances or pieces of equipment that can cause explosions - สิ่งที่ระเบิดได้

firearms: guns - อาวุธปืน

forces: the weapons and soldiers that an army, etc. has - กำลังรบ, กองกำลังติดอาวุธ

former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน

grenade: a small bomb that someone throws or fires from a gun - ลูกระเบิดเล็ก

guard: a person who protect somebody/something - ผู้คุ้มกัน, คนเฝ้า

haul: an usually large amount of something that has been stolen or is illegal or something that has been taken from criminals by the police - ของที่ถูกขโมยไปหรือถูกยึดไป

identified: named, said to be - ระบุ, ระบุชื่อ

illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

in case of: in the situation when this happens .... -

inform: to tell somebody about something, especially in an official way - แจ้งให้ทราบ

inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

justify: to show that there is good reason for something - แสดงเหตุผลที่ดีพอ

launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น

launcher: a device that sends something such as a rocket or a missile into the air with force - สิ่งที่ใช้ปล่อย, เครื่องปล่อย

military: connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร

possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง

prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง

province: on of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

public: open to people in general - สาธารณะ

purchase: something that has been bought - ของที่ซื้อมา

raid: to forcefully and suddenly enter a place to catch criminals or to search for something like drugs or, in this case, fake passports - ใช้กำลังเข้าค้นสถานที่หรือ จับกุมคนร้าย

rangers: soldiers who are specially trained to make surprise attacks on an enemy - ทหารเฉพาะกิจสำหรับสงครามกองโจรหรือการจู่โจมอย่างกะทันหัน

ransack: to go through a place stealing or damaging things - ปล้นสะดม

reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย

round: a bullet or a shot that is fired from a weapon - นัด(กระสุน) ชุดยิง

seize: to take control of a place or situation using military force - เข้ายึดพื้นที่

seize: to take something using force - ยึด, จับกุม

seizure: the act of taking control of something, especially by using power or force - การบุกเข้ายึด

site: a place where something is located - สถานที่

source: a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่ง

stage: to arrange - จัดตั้ง

store: to put and keep things in a special place for use in the future - เก็บ

storeroom: a room where things are kept - ห้องเก็บของ

suppression: stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  - การปราบปราม

target: a person, business, building, area, etc., that someone intends to attack or deal with - เป้าหมาย

United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD): the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts - แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ

vacant: empty - ที่ว่างลง

various: several different - หลากหลาย, ซึ่งแตกต่างกัน

weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ

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