11 pistols missing from police arsenal in Ayutthaya

11 pistols missing from police arsenal in Ayutthaya

A total of 11 police pistols given to Ayutthaya police for use two years ago are found to have been missing from Ayutthaya police head office's investigation sub-division. The missing weapons came to light following the arrest of a man in Bangkok with one missing police pistol. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)
A total of 11 police pistols given to Ayutthaya police for use two years ago are found to have been missing from Ayutthaya police head office's investigation sub-division. The missing weapons came to light following the arrest of a man in Bangkok with one missing police pistol. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

A total of 11 handguns were found to be missing from a police weapons storage facility in Ayutthaya following the arrest of a man in Bangkok with a police pistol.

Pol Col Phuwadit Chanakhotchaphat, deputy provincial police chief, said Pol Maj Gen Chokchai Ngamwong, chief of Ayutthaya police, signed an order on Tuesday appointing him lead investigator into the disappearance of 11 9mm Sig Sauer P320 pistols from the Ayutthaya police investigation sub-division

They have seven days to find out when the pistols went missing and who stole them. Any police officers found to be involved would face disciplinary, criminal and civil action, Pol Col Phuwadit said.

The missing pistols came to light after Wang Thong Lang police in Bangkok arrested Arthit Harnpanitchakit, 25, for illegal possession and carrying a pistol without a permit on Feb 14. The pistol was found to have a police emblem on it.

Checks revealed that particular firearm was issued to Ayutthaya police in 2017 by the Royal Thai Police Office.

This led to an audit that revealed 11 pistols were missing.

On Monday night, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul ordered a fact-finding inquiry into the matter. 

Pol Col Pattharapat Nutchayawong, superintendent of investigation in Ayutthaya and immediate commander of the police unit that owns the missing weapons, had been told to file an official complaint, Pol Col Phawadit said.

Mr Arthit has been taken from Wang Thong Lang police station to Ayutthaya for further interrogation, as the investigation into who was involved in the theft contrinues. 

Pol Col Phuwadit later confirmed the Royal Thai Police Office delivered 90 of the new pistols to the Ayutthaya police investigation sub-division in 2017. 

Of these, 27 had been issued to local police for use. The remaining 63 pistols were kept at the weapons storage facility.

However, a check found that 11 of the 63 pistols had vanished, leaving only 52 still there. There were 10 empty gun cases, he said. The 11th pistol was seized from Mr Arthi.

Pol Col Phuwadit said those who are in possession of the remaining 10 stolen pistols, intentionally or unintentionally, should return them to police as soon as possible.


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