28 AK rifles missing from military base in Narathiwat

28 AK rifles missing from military base in Narathiwat

(Photo supplied)
(Photo supplied)

NARATHIWAT: Twenty-eight AK-102 rifles have disappeared from a territorial defence company in Muang district of this southern border province.

Pol Col Supakorn Phuengros, chief of Muang district in Narathiwat, reported the disappearance of the rifles to national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyosuk and other superiors on Monday, Thai media reported on Tuesday.

According to a radio report, the 28 AK-102 rifles disappeared from the 2nd Narathiwat Territorial Defence Company in tambon Kamphu of Muang district on May 18.  

The following day, Mayusor Kudae, assistant chief of Muang district filed a complaint with local police against those allegedly involved in the rifles' disappearance at the territorial defence company. 

Fourth Army commander Lt Gen Kriangkrai Sirak on Tuesday confirmed the 28 AK-102 rifles had been missing.

He said police investigators were investigating and gathering evidence against those who stole the weapons. 

"During a clash in Bacho district of Narathiwat on May 11 in which a suspected insurgent was killed, officers seized one AK-102 rifle,"  Lt Gen Kriangkrai said. "An initial investigation found that it had not been used in any attacks, but the weapon was found to belong to a defence volunteer in Narathiwat."

The Internal Security Operations Command’s (Isoc) Region 4 Forward Command urged people not to panic about the missing of rifles, saying the weapons had not disappeared all at once and had to date not been used in southern clashes. 

Col Watcharakorn Onngern, deputy spokesman of the Isoc Region 4 Forward Command, said on Tuesday that district authorities had checked weapons kept at the 2nd Narathiwat Territorial Defence Company since November last year and found one rifle had been missing.

A  fact-finding committee was later set up to investigate and check how many weapons had been missing and how they disappeared.

The panel recently completed its probe and found that a total of 28 rifles had disappeared from the territorial defence company, said Col Watcharakorn.

On May 11, Suraidin Katae, alias Madong, 30, of Narathiwat, was shot dead in a clash with police and soldiers at a house in Bacho district of Narathiwat.

After the brief gunfire, officers searched his house and found Suraidin dead in the house with an AK-102 rifle and an 11mm gun nearby. More than 100 spent bullets were found scattered over the house, according to Thai media.

A criminal record showed Suraidin was wanted for the fatal shooting of a woman and her daughter on Aug 11, 2018.

The AK-102 rifle the suspect used had been stolen from Muhammand Salae, a territorial defence volunteer in Bacho district after he shot dead the volunteer on March 10.

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