Police in Ko Samui said on Wednesday that they did not think the gun was purchased to commit a crime in Thailand nor had the arrested man a criminal background.
An Australian man was arrested on Wednesday as he tried to board a plane flight on Ko Samui with a handgun and 96 rounds of ammunition. He told police he had bought the gun at a local shop on the island. The tourist, on holiday with his family, said he purchased the firearm from a shop on the island and that it was not an illegal firearm.
An Australian tourist was arrested at the main airport in Ko Samui as he tried to board a flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport with a handgun and ammunition concealed in his baggage.
The Australian was taken into custody at 1 pm on Wednesday according to a briefing given on Thursday by Police Colonel Suparuek Phankosol, the Immigration Bureau Chief in Surat Thani.
He is now understood to be on bail although the case is still before the courts.
X-rays alerted officials at Ko Samui Airport to the handgun and 96 rounds of ammunition in the tourist’s check-in baggage before his arrest by police
Police officers at the facility in the Bophut area of Ko Samui were alerted by X-rays of the tourist’s luggage which showed the gun broken into pieces and ammunition spread across seven bags checked in by the Australian tourist and his family who are visiting Thailand on holiday.
The accused man is accompanied on his trip to Thailand by his wife and three children.
After the discovery was verified by a search of the Australian national’s luggage he was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition in Thailand.
The gun and ammunition were also seized by authorities.
The Australian, when questioned by investigators, revealed that he had purchased the gun from a shop in the Bophut area of Ko Samui.
He said he purchased the weapon for personal use and thought it was legal.
Tourist said family were on their way home to Australia via Singapore yet had no onward flights booked
The Australian, believed to be from Sydney, New South Wales, also told police that the family planned to travel from Bangkok to Singapore and from there back to Australia but they had not yet booked their onward flights.
He has been transferred to Bophut Police Station where he is being held as legal proceedings are processed against him.
Police are understood to be satisfied that the arrested man did not purchase the firearm to commit an offence in Thailand nor did he appear to have a criminal background or be linked to transnational crime.
About the Author
Carla Boonkong is a magazine writer who writes extensively about woman’s issues in Thailand. One of her key subjects is the story of Thailand’s growing influence in the world and the role played by Thai women in the process. She is now a staff writer with Thai Examiner.com in Bangkok. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.