Facebook gun seller held

Facebook gun seller held

A police officer interrogates Watcharaporn sae Lim (second from right) about the guns he modified for sale on Facebook during a search at his house in Surat Thani. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)
A police officer interrogates Watcharaporn sae Lim (second from right) about the guns he modified for sale on Facebook during a search at his house in Surat Thani. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

A 19-year-old man accused of modifying and selling illegal guns online has been arrested with 12 guns and almost 300 rounds of ammunition at his house in Surat Thani, police said.

Watcharaporn sae Lim was arrested in Surat Thani municipality on Friday night after arriving at a meeting site to deliver goods to police officers posing as customers. They had offered to buy a gun for 7,500 baht and one kilogramme of krathom leaves, a mild narcotic.

Police asked the man to take them to his house but he took them to his relatives' house instead. Eventually the officers found his house and once there, they found two women living inside. They claimed they had been hired to clean the house and had nothing to do with the gun sales.

One of the woman, identified as Pranee Meekham, 36, was arrested but the other woman managed to flee after seeking permission to go to the washroom. However, she escaped by climbing out of the room.

Police seized one King Cobra gun, eleven .32 pistols and 280 rounds of ammunition from the house.

Pol Col Pornsak Nuannoo, deputy chief of the Surat Thani police, said the arrest followed an investigation into reports that illegal guns were on sale via a Facebook page called "Phudulae Khonderm" (old-face caretaker).

Police said Mr Watcharaporn told them he was a student at a non-formal education school and earned his living selling guns online.

He told police he had bought guns and spare parts from other sellers on Facebook. He modified the guns for sale and made videos demonstrating how to use them.

He said he could assemble a pistol in just one hour after receiving a customer's purchase order. He would then send pictures of the product to the customer's Facebook messenger inbox.

After a customer transferred the money, he told police, he would send the gun via express mail.

Police who searched the house found receipts for 112 illegal gun sales to customers around the country.


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