Ex-cop involved in huge illegal weapons caches: police

Ex-cop involved in huge illegal weapons caches: police

Police examine a cache of AKA assault rifles and magazines at the Phu Sing police station in Surin province on Monday. (Photo by Noparat Kingkaew)
Police examine a cache of AKA assault rifles and magazines at the Phu Sing police station in Surin province on Monday. (Photo by Noparat Kingkaew)

A former policeman in Prachuap Khiri Khan province is behind huge caches of weapons found recently in the northeastern provinces of Si Sa Ket and Surin, and the weapons were similar to those used during red-shirt demonstrations, a deputy national police chief said.

Pol Gen Srivara Ransibhramanakul, the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, said in Nakhon Ratchasima province on Tuesday that the former policeman, who later became an illegal logger, was traced to Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan. He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered his immediate arrest.

"The discovered weapons of war are similar to weapons used during red-shirt demonstrations... It is believed that there are more suspects because one person could not carry so many weapons," Pol Gen Srivara said.

A total of 27 rocket-propelled grenades, 24 rounds of ammunition for M79 grenade launchers, 700 bullets for AKA assault rifles and 48 detonation caps were found in an irrigation canal in Khukhan district of Si Sa Ket province last Thursday. A further 16 AKA rifles and 130 magazines were discovered in a pond in Buachet district of Surin province last Sunday.

The weapons in Si Sa Ket were in good condition, while the weapons in Surin were no longer usable.

The two locations were about 11 kilometres apart, and Pol Gen Srivara said the two caches were connected.

The deputy national police chief said he had ordered the Metropolitan Police Bureau to intensify security in Bangkok, where the Asean Summit will take place on June 22-23.

Such war weapons were normally intended for use in cities, Pol Gen Srivara said, and police have been ordered to prevent their being smuggled into Bangkok.


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