Convicts tapped to make guns
Inmates convicted of unlawfully making firearms will be recruited to help produce weapons for the military after they complete their sentences, under a plan proposed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The prime minister has instructed the Justice Ministry's Corrections Department to survey the number of detainees found guilty of illegally making firearms and those who meet the criteria will undergo training in military firearms manufacturing, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said.
The meeting of the Defence Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, also agreed with the prime minister's proposal, the spokesman said.
The Royal Thai Army's Ordnance Department has been assigned to conduct the training with the goal of feeding personnel into the defence industry.
After these prisoners complete their prison terms, they would potentially be eligible for roles with the Defence Technology Institute or the Defence Industry and Energy Centre, under the Defence Ministry, the spokesman said.
Referring to concerns about the hiring of inmates, Lt Gen Kongcheep said he does not want the public to look at this matter negatively. These people previously made firearms secretly, but now they would do the job in a proper manner, the spokesman noted.
Meanwhile, Pol Col Naras Savestanan, director-general of the Corrections Department, said Monday he had instructed 142 prisons and detention facilities across the country to survey the number of prisoners convicted of producing firearms illegally in line with the policy given by Gen Prayut and Gen Prawit.
These inmates would be taken to undergo proper training sessions in manufacturing firearms so they can be brought into the country's defence industry under the supervision of the Defence Ministry.