Also targeted in the crackdown was illegal street racing and modified motorbike exhausts.
Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Pongwut Pongsri announced the results of the crackdown, which netted more than 2,500 suspects, at a press conference held at the Region 8 Police headquarters, located at the northern tip of Phuket, yesterday (July 22).
The press conference was held to highlight the number firearms and drugs seized during Region 8 Police’s ongoing campaign “Protection for safety of residents 2019”.
Region 8 Police is the police division overseeing Provincial Police in seven of the 14 Southern Thailand provinces: Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
Gen Pongwut, joined by by other Provincial Police commanders and police chiefs, yesterday revealed that the crackdown saw elevated police efforts during the 18 days from June 20-29 and July 3-12.
During the crackdown, officers throughout the seven Region 8 provinces arrested 320 suspects with firearms, he said.
The weapons seized included two M16 rifles with 326 bullets, 245 firearms with 1,610 bullets, and two explosive devices.
The blitz also saw 2,555 drug suspects arrested in 2,491 cases, Gen Pongwut explained.
The drug raids netted 595,894 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine) and 8,606 grams of crystal meth (ya ice), he said.
Also police seized 155.99kg of dried marijuana, 0.31 grams of Heroin, 155.99 grams of dried kratom, 23,898 dried kratom leaves, and 377 liters of kratom juice.
“In addition, we arrested 165 suspects on outstanding warrants,” Gen Pongwut said.
The campaign saw a blitz on illegal street racing in the seven provinces from July 5-20, he added.
In total, 152 suspects were charged under the Land Traffic Act: 102 for not having a license plate, 23 for obstructing traffic, eight for reckless driving and 19 for dangerous driving.
A further 2,604 suspects were charged under the Vehicle Act: 133 for modifying vehicles, 2,155 for driving without a license, 247 for operating a modified vehicle, 52 for operating an unregistered vehicle, 17 for allowing people without a license to operate their vehicles, but not as a driver instruction session.
Any double counting of suspects charged under both acts were not explained.
Police seized 153 modified motorbike exhausts, three cars and 33 motorbikes, Gen Pongwut said.
“Also, eight owners of motorbike modifying shops were caught,” he said.
“Region 8 Police are dedicated to mobilising our officers to maintain order and protect the safety of people’s lives and property.
“We would like to thank all the officers involved in this campaign for their dedication to the mission at hand and the results accomplished,” Gen Pongwut said.