Large arms cache and ammunition found in Premchai’s house

Police found a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as two pairs of ivory tusks in the search of the house of Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta on Wednesday (Feb 7).

Armed with a court’s search warrant, police from the Natural Resources and Environment Division and 7th Region Provincial Police Bureau as well as park officials searched Mr Premchai’s residence in Huay Kwang district of Bangkok.

Mr Premchai was not in the house at the time but his wife was there, but she didn’t say anything to the police.

The search party found 13 shotguns, 28 rifles of .22 and .30 calibers, two pistols and almost 2,000 rounds of ammunition of different calibers, according to Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, the deputy national police.

He said all the firearms would be impounded for checking whether they were legally registered.

The two pairs of ivory tusks are not attached with permit stickers, but Premchai’s wife claimed that they are legal, said Pol Gen Srivara, adding that officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation would check to determine whether the ivory tusks are the same tusks issued with permits.

Other teams of police and park officials also searched the houses of the three other members of the hunting party as well as the house of Mr Premchai’s son in Kanchanaburi, Nonthaburi, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Ratchasima to look for illegal wildlife trophies.

The deputy national police said wildlife officials who were on duty during the period the hunting party was in the game sanctuary would be invited for questioning tomorrow (Feb 8) at the Natural Resources and Environment Police Division.