BURI RAM: Five boys have been charged with armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms after a roadside shop was robbed of 2 kilogrammes of kratom leaves in Nang Rong district.
About 4pm on Friday, five youths with two home-made guns robbed a shop selling kratom leaves beside Highway 24 (Chok Chai - Det Udom), opposite the Nang Rong Municipal office.
One of the robbers fired a threatening shot into the air while others grabbed two bags each containing a kilogramme of kratom leaves. They fled on two motorcycles. The shop owner filed a complaint with Nang Rong police.
Five suspects, aged 13-16 years, were arrested shortly afterwards. Police also seized two home-made guns and 1kg of kratom leaves. They were charged with robbery and illegal possesion of firearms.
On Monday, Nang Rong police delivered the boys to Buri Ram Juvenile and Family Court. Their parents applied for their release on bail. It was allowed with a surety of 20,000 baht each.
Kratom is a tree in the coffee family found in Southeast Asia and Africa. Its leaves contain a stimulant.
Consumption of kratom is now legal following its removal from the narcotics list. However, consumption of kratom leaves mixed with narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, dangerous substances, or any other substance specified by the Ministry of Justice is prohibited, except for specific medical or educational purposes.