The campaign, ordered by national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, had officers conduct “search and seize” operations throughout the Region 8 Police area, Lt Gen Surachate explained.
The Region 8 Police area comprises the seven provinces of Upper Southern Thailand, including Phuket.
In total 409 “targets” were set for the search and seize raids: 77 in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, 75 in Phuket, 68 in Surat Thani, 54 in Phang Nga, 47 in Krabi, 45 in Chumphon and 43 in Ranong.
All raids were conducted under warrants issued by the relevant court, Lt Gen Suarchate noted.
Locations raided included hotels, rental rooms, guesthouses, resorts “and other areas where crime patterns indicated that they may affect tourists or the tourist area”, Lt Gen Surachate said.
The raids, carried out Monday through Friday last week (April 25-29), netted 67 firearms, including one “war weapon”, as well as three homemade bombs, Lt Gen Surachate said.
The most guns were seized in Chumphon province (16 guns), followed by Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province (14 guns), Lt gen Surachate said.
Also seized during the week were 127,471 pills of methamphetamine (ya bah) and 9.433kg of crystal meth (ya ice), he added.
Almost as an aside, he added that officers collected DNA samples from 305 individuals who were released from prison as part of the campaign.
“National police commander Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk has ordered police to take action to ensure the safety of life and property of people [local residents] and tourists to support the opening of the country, especially important tourist areas that foreigners and Thais like to travel to visit,” Lt Gen Surachate said.
“During the past three months, there has been a mobilisation to crack down and search the Region 8 area seriously all the time, which has seen more than 1,082 targets searched and more than 193 firearms seized in order to make the tourist areas of Southern Thailand safe from various crimes, so we can welcome tourists and reduce crime in the area. Let the people live in peace,” Lt Gen Surachate said.