Police found a large quantity of homemade firearms, grenades and ammunition at the house of a retired engineer from New Zealand on Monday morning.
Pol Lt Gen Surapong Thanomchit, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 8, identified the man as of Gareth Davies, 63. Police searched his house, No. 114/79 in Moo 1 village of tambon Kathu in Kathu district, following an investigation and tips from locals.
In the house they found seven rifles – including two assault rifles – 19 handguns, 11 grenades and a large quantity of bullets.
“The person traded guns online. Police have monitored him and some Phuket residents gave information… He was a mechanical engineer and is a capable of making parts of guns that cannot be registered,” Pol Lt Gen Surapong said.
The commissioner said the foreigner was in a firearms circle and police were expanding their investigation into his network.
“He could be both buyer and seller… The house was also a production and modification base… Apparently guns were tested there because there was sound-proof ammo testing box and silencers,” the commissioner said.
Mr Davies became wheelchair-bound five years ago due to a bone illness. He entered the country through Suvarnabhumi airport on Feb 11, 2010, and currently holds a retirement visa extended to Nov 24, 2023.
He had lived with a Thai wife for 20 years before her death, the commissioner said. Before his retirement at the age of 55, he had been a drilling platform engineer working offshore in the South.
Police inspect illegal firearms in the house of Gareth Davies in Kathu district, Phuket, on Monday morning. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)