Ex-Bangkok police chief caught with gun at Narita airport

Ex-Bangkok police chief caught with gun at Narita airport

AoT probing how ex-officer got gun on board

Then-metropolitan police bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit Thoopkrachang, in June 2013. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Then-metropolitan police bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit Thoopkrachang, in June 2013. (Bangkok Post file photo)

<b><font color="red">UPDATE</b></font> Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, a former Metropolitan Police chief, has been detained by Japanese authorities at Tokyo's Narita International Airport for having a gun and ammunition in his possession.

The arrest was confirmed Tuesday by police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut said police in Thailand were examining reports about Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit's arrest to find out why he had the gun with him, whether the weapon had gone through security procedures in Thailand and how.

Police would then contact him to see if he needed help.

Initial reports said Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit went to Japan on June 18 on Thai Airways Flight TG 640 which left Suvarnabhumi airport at 9.50pm.

He was found with a gun in his possession at Narita airport as he was about to board a 5pm flight to return to Thailand on Monday.

The type of gun was not reported, nor how it was found.

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit admitted to owning the gun and showed his identity card and documents for the weapon.

Airports of Thailand Plc deputy director Kanputt Mungklusiri said officials have examined footage from a CCTV camera at a gate at Suvarnabhumi which the former city police chief passed through.

The weapon seemed not to be detected by screening procedures, he added. However, Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit might have used a VIP gate at the airport where security screening is not required, a source said.


EARLIER REPORT

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, a former metropolitan police chief, has been detained by Japanese authorities at Tokyo's Narita International Airport for having a gun and ammunition in his possession, police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri confirmed on Tuesday.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut said police were examining reports about Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit's arrest to find out why he had the gun with him, whether or not the weapon had gone through security procedures in Thailand and how.

"We are checking how the gun slipped through our process,'' said Gp Capt Kanputt Mungklusiri, senior executive vice president in charge of airport and aviation standards at AoT.

The airport only allows firearms to be carried by security guards to protect royal family members, he added.

A source at Suvarnabhumi said Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit could leave Thailand through a VIP process that spared him any body or luggage checks.

Initial reports said Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit went to Japan on June 18 on Thai Airways Flight TG 640 which departed Suvarnabhumi airport at 9.50pm.

He was found with the gun in his possession at Narita airport as he was about to board a 5pm flight to return to Thailand on June 22. The type of the gun was not reported, or how it was found.

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit admitted to owning the gun and showed his identification card and documents for the weapon to Japanese authorities.

Thai embassy officials had contacted Japanese officials to provide legal assistance in the case, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.

Police also planned to contact the former Bangkok metropolitan police bureau chief to see what could be done to help him, he said.


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