Police have arrested three people for illegally making and selling firearms online, and 45 customers, and seized 120 rifles and more than 2,200 cartridges. Breaking up a firearms network operating in 39 provinces.
Maj Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), said on Thursday that a series of raids targeted premises in 39 provinces in Thailand on Wednesday.
Police seized 120 home-made .22 caliber rifles, 2,216 cartridges, 82 rifle barrels. Also nine sets of trigger and bolt mechanisms, 31 trigger guards, 39 magazines and 12 rifle stocks.
Maj Gen Jirabhop said an investigation was launched into the firearms sales after a fatal shooting in Suphan Buri province. He also said detectives learned that the rifle used in the crime had been bought through the Jai Jeb Facebook page. The Facebook Page had about 50,000 followers and over 500,000 followers on its YouTube channel.
Police identified the three arrested suppliers as gunsmith Tanatnan Nanchaiwong, 26, Kantree Kaeokunnok, 37, and Kanokpol Rakton, 19.
Chiang Rai Man learned to make rifles online
Mr Tanatnan made the rifle working parts and administered the network’s online platforms. Mr Kantree made gun stocks and Mr Kanokpol packed and mailed the goods.
“They made copies of brands popular in other countries and sold them at 9,500-22,000 baht apiece,” Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop said.
The three men also confessed to having operated the illegal business in Thailand for two years.
Mr Tanatnan was a vocational student. He had earlier collected latex at rubber plantations and sold fishing tools, then learned to be a gun smith online.
He bought the materials he needed in Thailand, Chiang Rai province, where he lived.
The rifle stocks were made in Nakhon Ratchasima province. The gang sold the rifles in parts, for customers to assemble, he said. They also had customers in 39 provinces and had sold at least 1,000 rifles. The suspects also said they made a profit of about 5,000 baht per firearm.