Two Thai soldiers arrested for illegal possession of weapons, ammunition in Bangkok

Two army soldiers were arrested in possession of two guns and a large amount of ammunition late on Sunday night night at a police security checkpoint on Lang Suan road in Pathumwan district near Lumpini Park, according to media reports on Monday.

The arrest was made after police from the Metropolitan Police Division 5 stopped a black Ford Ranger pickup truck registered in Bangkok about 11.30pm for a search.

Travelling in the vehicle were Sgt Pitsanu Fueangrung and L/Cpl Nathawut Cherdsoongnoen, both attached to 31st Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Lop Buri-based Special Warfare Command.

Police searched the vehicle and reported finding one M16 rifle, 1,976 rounds of M16 ammunition, one .45 Kimber pistol (Custom Model) with seven rounds of ammunition, a pocket knife, two tear gas canisters, a set of brass knuckles and a backpack.

On being questioned, the soldiers refused to give a statement, saying that they would wait for officers from the Judge Advocate General’s Department to arrive.

The two were initially charged with illegally having and carrying weapons and ammunition in their possession without permission and violation of the emergency decree.

Maj Gen Warah Boonysith, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said the two must first be questioned by police according to the justice process.

He said it was still not clear whether the the soldiers were acting on their own or had been hired.

Maj Gen Warah said the weapons seized did not belong to the unit the two soldiers were assigned to.

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