A police senior sergeant major from Nonthaburi province was arrested in Nong Khai province just before escaping to Vientiane for allegedly stealing about 100 guns from his Pak Kret police station.
Pol Sen Sgt Maj Chaowalit Phumkachorn was taken back on a flight to Bangkok and then to the Police Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road at 9.20pm after his arrest near the Thai-Lao border in Nong Khai.
Pol Maj Gen Pananchai Chuenjaitham, deputy commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 1, quoted the suspect as saying that he was responsible for the distribution of firearms at his police station and stole the weapons for sales to raise money for the repayment of his gambling debts.
The theft allegedly started in April and stolen guns included M4 rifles, Glock pistols and SIG Sauer guns.
The suspect either sold or pledged stolen guns with individuals including gamblers and shop owners, Pol Maj Gen Pananchai said.
Detectives found at least nine locations in Nonthaburi and Bangkok where the police senior sergeant major sold the stolen guns and would search the places, Pol Maj Gen Pananchai said while urging buyers to return the firearms at the Police Club.
In a related development, national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas transferred the chief of the Pak Kret station to an inactive post at the Provincial Police Region 1 to facilitate investigation into the case. (TNA)