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Gun online dealers busted ahead of polls

Crime Suppression Division police have arrested 31 people and seized 38 guns and more than 500 rounds of ammunition in nationwide raids ahead of Sunday’s provincial administration organisation (PAO) elections.

CSD teams struck at 41 locations nationwide, targetting an online network suspected of illegal sales of firearms, and their customers.

The raids were part of a crime prevention campaign ahead of Sunday’s voting for PAO chairmen and council members, the CSD commander, Pol Maj Gen Suwat Sangnum, said.

He said they had information about an online group formed to acquire, make and sell weapons to members across the country. 

This led to the arrest of 31 suspects, gun traders and customers of the network, Pol Maj Gen Suwat said during a media briefing on Friday.

A total of 38 firearms, including an M16 assault rifle and 30 .22 calibre guns, 565 rounds of ammunition, 7 sound suppressors and an amount illicit drugs were seized from the suspects, he said.

“We tested those seized weapons and all could be used. Aside from producing the weapons, this network also produced silencers,’’ Pol Maj Gen Suwat said.

Investigators would look into whether the suspects or any of the weapons were linked to any crimes, or to any hired gunmen or influential mafia figures.

All 31 suspects were charged with violating the Firearms Act. Five were held in custody by the CSD and the 26 others handed over to local police for legal action.

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