Pattaya Daily News

30 April 2010 :: 15:04:23 pm 19361

Thai Policeman Embroiled In Arms Dealing Amidst Mayhem

A Royal Thai Police Sergeant Major has been arrested in Bangkok on Thursday. The arrest follows investigations into an alleged arms dealing network that had been providing weapons and ammunition suspected to have been stolen from the Thai armed forces.
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Bangkok, the 30th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: On Wednesday a motorbike was found unattended on the Vibhavadi Rangsit Road during the clash with anti-government Red Shirt protests. Investigation of the vehicle found 63 grenades and an M-79 grenade launcher concealed on the vehicle. Checks of the vehicle later led to the arrest of  Police Sgt Maj Prinya Maneekhote from the Kukot Lum Luk Ka district police command on Thursday.

Police Sgt Maj Maneekhote was arrested in front of the Big C supermarket in Lum Luk Ka and taken to the local station for questioning in relation to the seized weaponry. Investigations of Sgt Maj Maneekhote’s pickup uncovered a 9mm pistol, ammunition, rifle scope, numerous camouflage military uniforms and approximately 700,000 baht in cash.

Investigating officers revealed that the Sergeant Major has admitted to being the owner of the confiscated weapons, stating that he had been travelling to a Post Office to send the weaponry to a customer when he approached the military check point. He decided to abandon the motorcycle and flee when soldiers pulled him over and asked to search it, police said. Sgt Maj Maneekhote has denied any involvement with the current anti-government Red Shirt party stating that he had been selling the weaponry to any interested parties. With hand grenades believed to fetch up to 1,200 baht each on the black market, arms trafficking is proving to be a very profitable endeavour.

Provincial police Chief Methi Kusolsrang explained that police checks revealed the sergeant majors involvement in a widespread gang of arms trafficking with other civilian members of the gang having been arrested earlier on Thursday in Ayutthaya and Samut Prakan.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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