Online arms trade in CSD sights

Online arms trade in CSD sights

Pistols and revolvers seized in operations targeting the online illegal firearms trade are displayed at a press briefing. (Photo by Nutthawat Wichieanbut)
Pistols and revolvers seized in operations targeting the online illegal firearms trade are displayed at a press briefing. (Photo by Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has launched a series of operations aimed at the trade in illegal firearms bought online.

When firearms are ordered online from illegal traders on the black market, the guns can easily be distributed to criminal networks.

Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, deputy commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, instructed CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Suwat Saengnum to address the problem.

Before one operation, Pol Col Pongpanot Chukaew, superintendent of the CSD's sub-division 6, picked up clues about the source of illegal arms trade via a secret Facebook group named Chum Chon Talat Dam ("Black Market Community") and a Line group used in the southern region.

After their investigation, police captured three offenders including the group founder in Songkhla's Sadao district. They also seized more than 40 firearms.

"One suspect said an agent in Bangkok works with a major arms trader, who runs a gold shop and courier service to hide his illegal arms business," said Pol Col Pongpanot.

This clue proved a major break in the crackdown operation.

Pol Col Pongpanot said the operation started early on June 2 and involved raids on eight spots across Bangkok and other provinces.

The CSD has been busy suppressing the illegal arms trade since May.

The division has arrested nine suspects to date and seized 154 firearms, 14 grenades and thousands of pieces of ammunition in transactions worth more than 100 million baht, Pol Col Pongpanot said.

Some Thais procured illegal firearms smuggled into the country or traded locally made guns.

"If we allow illegal arms trading to continue, it could lead to future crimes as most of the customers were found to be gun collectors, hitmen and even drug networks," said Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop.

Vocabulary

  • black market (noun): an illegal form of trade in which foreign money, or goods that are difficult to obtain, are bought and sold - ตลาดมืด
  • courier: a person or company whose job is to take packages or important papers somewhere - ผู้ส่งสาร
  • crackdown: strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่
  • firearms: guns - อาวุธปืน
  • offender: a person who is guilty of a crime - ผู้กระทำความผิด
  • 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
  • seize: to take something using official power and force - ยึด, จับกุม
  • suppression: stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  - การปราบปราม
  • trader: someone who buys and sells things - ผู้ค้า
  • via (preposition): using, by way of, through - โดยทาง, โดยเส้นทาง, ทาง
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