Police to seek arrest warrants for suspected owners of arms cache next week

The Royal Thai Police will soon seek warrants from the court to arrest 2-3 people who they have information linking them to the arms cache seized early this week in Bang Nam Priao district of Chachoengsao province.

Deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on Friday (Dec 1) that the police now know who owned the arms cache and warrants would be sought to arrest them next week.

He didn’t identify the suspects but said they were linked with violent incidents during the 2014 political unrest.

The arms cache was found by a villager in a pond in Bang Nam Priao district of Chachoengsao province on Nov 24. Search by authorities found a large number of arms and ammunition.

He said the police have learned that the arms cache was linked to the 2014 political unrest because the serial numbers of some arms and ammunition matched the serial numbers of weapon seized from hardcore members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, or red shirt group, during the political unrest.

Pol Gen Srivara earlier said it was possible that the arms cache belonged to Wutthipong Kotchathammakhun, alias “Ko Tee”, the hardcore redshirt activist who is wanted by police on lese majeste charges for remarks he made in an interview with a foreign media.

Mr Wutthipong reportedly escaped from the country and is believed to be hiding in a neighbouring country.

The deputy commissioner also noted that the arms cache might be prepared for use in the capital as they are sealed and in good condition although they are dumped in the water.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon said the arms cache was dumped in the swamp recently.

He strongly dismissed speculation that the arms cache finding is a setup to divert public’s attention from problems surrounding the government.

Gen Prawit said the arm cache seizure corresponded with an intelligence authorities’ finding about political movements by some people.

Therefore, lifting the ban on political activities is very unlikely in the near future, he said.

“How can we lift the ban under the current circumstances. If it is to be lifted, it is most likely possible when election draws near,” he added.