Guns, bombs tossed aside across Eastern Seaboard as NCPO amnesty deadline passes

Friday, 13 June 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 24 By  Patcharapol Panrak

The Thai military’s crackdown on military-grade weapons has resulted in bombs and assault rifles popping up in farm fields and roadsides from Jomtien Beach to Sattahip to Chonburi.

Police discovered five improvised grenades inside a cardboard box concealed in grass off Jomtien Second Road 5 June.

Col. Supatee Boonkrong, superintendent of the Chonburi Provincial Police, said an M-34 smoke bomb, an M-26 grenade, two MK2 grenades, and an M-67 grenade were found. Even though all were quite old, they were still functional, he said.

Officials inspect a cache of weapons found in Sattahip.Officials inspect a cache of weapons found in Sattahip.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team immediately was called to inspect the scene and safely remove the explosives.

Supatee speculated the weapons’ owner ditched the bombs to escape detection from the National Council for Peace and Order, which has been tracking down holders of military-grade weapons since the May 22 coup.

The NCPO gave holders of military weapons amnesty through June 10, but many apparently have decided to dump their guns rather than turn them in.

On June 6, Nongprue police were called to Soi Tanman 13 in Banglamung where a box containing 25 rounds of M60 bullets, two M26 bombs, a Red China grenade and a smoke bomb was found underneath a tree.

The same day in Sattahip, police found two AK-47 rifles with 144 bullets, six parachute flares, one M7A3 smoke grenade and a tear gas canister alongside a motorbike on the side of Highway 332 between the Kasempol and the J intersection near the entrance to Kledkaew 8 Village in Kledkaew.

All of which weapons are still usable but their serial numbers had been erased to prevent tracking.

And in Chonburi, police June 2 uncovered 27 rocket-propelled grenades and five boxes of ammunition on a 30-rai banana orchard in Chonburi.

Locals found the RPGs lying around as they were retrieving banana flowers for cooking. It remains unknown who hid the weapons.

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