Phuket youths turn gun runners, homemade and delivered by post via Facebook

From the Phuket News:

PHUKET: Police in Phuket City have made two startling arrests that have highlighted how easy it is for youths to obtain guns and live ammunition and sell them on to third parties in Phuket.

Thalerngsak Sonyee (left), 21, bought his gun on Facebook and had it delivered by post, and the 16-year-old (right) said he made his gun for sale himself.

The first arrest was of a 16-year-old boy in possession of home-made gun that he was intending to sell to a “client” on Monday (Sept 28).

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found in possession of a home-made pistol and five .38-calibre bullets while he was waiting in a bookstore on Montri Rd, said Pol Lt Ritthichai Chumchoy.

“We moved in and arrested him at 10:30am after we received a tip-off from undercover police,” he said.

The boy was apparently waiting for a “client” to arrive to buy the home-made pistol, called a Thai Pradit, after the arrangement had been made by phone, Pol Lt Ritthichai added.

“We found him on the second-floor, pacing back and forth. He panicked and attempted to run when officers approached him,” he explained.

“When asked where he bought the gun, he said that he had made it himself,” Pol Lt Ritthichai added.

The Phuket News has yet to learn from police where the boy learned to make the gun, and where he sourced the materials needed.

But within 24 hours, Provincial Police led by Pol Lt Sommai Onkam had arrested Thalerngsak Sonyee, 21, at a Super Cheap convenience store on Thepkrasattri Rd ni Talad Yai, in Phuket Town.

Thalerngsak, taken into custody at 1:30pm on Tuesday (Sept 29), was found in possession of a registered pistol, three 12-gauge shotgun shells and a dozen .38-calibre bullets.

His arrest, like that of the 16-year-old, also followed a tip-off by undercover officers that he was at the store to deliver a gun to a “client”.

“Thalerngsak said that he bought the gun via a Facebook group and that he paid B7,000 for it,” Pol Lt Sommai said. “He said he got it delivered by post, two weeks ago.”

“Thalerngsak also said that he bought a box of bullets (containing 50 rounds) for B1,450 from Thalang Shooting Range in Sakoo (south of Phuket International Airport),” Pol Lt Sommai said.

Thalerngsak and the 16-year-old were taken to Phuket City Police Station, where they were charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and carrying firearms and ammunition in a public place without a permit.

The Phuket News has yet to learn what investigations police are carrying out into the Facebook group through which Thalerngsak bought the gun, and who his prospective “client” was.

The Phuket News has also yet to learn what investigations police are carrying out into the allegation that the Thalang Shooting Range sold live ammunition to person who did not have a permit to carry it in a public place.

The Thalang Shooting Range made headlines around the world in March this year when 21-year-old British tourist Liam Colven, from Portree in Scotland, committed suicide by pointing the firearm he had rented at the range at his head and shooting himself at point-blank range.