Police chief to seek approval from ministry to make direct order of 150,000 Sig Sauer pistols

The Royal Thai Police is seeking permission from the Interior Ministry to make direct purchase of over 150,000 pistols from a Western manufacturer for use by its personnel at their own expenses.

The move was led by commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung after a total of 150,000 police officers have confirmed their purchase order of the 9 mm Swiss-made pistol Sig Sauer P320 under the welfare scheme of the police to procure high quality pistols for police use at low price.

He said he would seek approval  from the deputy minister of Interior Ministry to make direct purchase with the gun manufacturer without passing through any brokerage firm.

He said representatives of Sig Sauer has arrived for talk of the order and they agreed to sell at only 18,000 baht apiece.

He said market price of the pistol is over 70, 000 baht included tax, but the offered price is lower because it is a direct approach with the gun manufacturer.

He said his earlier request for 30% exemption of tax for the gun was rejected by the Finance Ministry with reason that the gun is bought for personal use and s a  personal property, therefore the import tax could not be exempted.

But Pol Gen Somyot insisted that the gun is bought by police for official service as well and therefore the tax should be exempted.

He said he would also seek approval from the prime minister over the issue, as he saw this was necessary to help the  police to have high quality guns for use.