The probe followed the arrest of Chaowalit Phumkhachorn, a former crime suppression officer attached to Pak Kret station, for stealing guns from his base last October, reports the Bangkok Post.
He was sentenced to 270 years in prison for theft, illegal possession of firearms, and several other firearms-related offences, though he will only serve 50 years as allowed under Thai law.
Deputy national police chief, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, said Chaowalit’s arrest led to the arrests of 23 others who pawned, sold or bought the guns. Most were security guards for gambling dens and the gamblers themselves.
Eight police will be punished for dereliction of duty, he added, noting they range from former station chiefs who served between 2014-2022 to active inspectors. A committee has been set up to handle the disciplinary investigation, he said.
As for the stolen firearms, police managed to retrieve 64 but 96 remain unaccounted for. Police believe they were sold in neighbouring countries.
Pol Gen Surachate said 63 are in the state’s inventory, with one returned to a local station.
He said the 2,200-page report will be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General, which will pursue legal action against the 23 suspects.
JohnC | 07 April 2023 - 08:21:20