A LARGE number of war weapons and parts was seized from a pickup truck at a police checkpoint in southeastern Trad province last night with the suspect admitting that this is not the first time he has smuggled arms here from a neighboring country, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported this morning (April 11).
Pol Col Singh Naree from Mai Rood police station together with patrol police and rangers seized the weapons from a black 4-door, Bangkok-registered pickup truck with a sticker showing a tank and the year 2015 attached to the windshield. Seized were 2 Tavor rifles, 16 M16 rifles, 16 M16 rifle equipment, 4 other rifle parts and 3 firecrackers.
The pickup truck’s driver Mr Chayut Prasertrith, 53, was arrested and taken to the police station where Capt Prachuab Malithong, head of a Marine Corps Special Forces unit, and Pol Col Deraj Kalya, deputy head of this police station questioned him.
The suspect admitted that he had smuggle the whole lot of arms from a neighboring country through Chalalai port in this province and was taking them to Saraburi and its adjacent central region provinces to deliver to those who had placed orders.
The suspect refused to give the names of others likely involved in this smuggling operation but admitted that this is not the first time he has done so.
Capt Prachuab said some of the seized rifles are registered but the Tavor variety is in use in the neighboring country with investigation continuing.
Meanwhile Pol Col Deraj said police are tracing links to the big lot of arms seized last year.
As Chalalai port is a commercial one, some arms might have got through, he noted, adding that it is still being checked whether the suspect is a military officer or not.
Top: The weapons seized in Trad last night. Photos: Matichon