(26 January) The police have suspected that a man who was arrested for trying to smuggle an RPG into Bangkok might be involved in the recent political violence.
Mr. Chinnarat Karnchanavichian was arrested at a police checkpoint in Pathum Thani province in the early hours of 25 January, after police uncovered a number of weapons and military hardware in his vehicle.
The search on his vehicle reportedly turned up 1 AK-47 rifle, 60 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 1 RPG launcher with ammunition, 2 pocket knives, 1 cellphone, 2 safety helmets, 1 grenade, 22 caltrops, 1 flashlight, and a set of military camouflage uniform.
Mr. Chinnarat told police he had been hired by a military officer to deliver these weapons to another agent on Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road in exchange with 5,000 baht reward.
The suspect claimed he did not know the name of the officer who reportedly hired him, or the identity of the agent who was supposed to receive the weapons from him.
Despite many hours police interrogators spent with Mr. Chinnarat, the suspect refused to reveal any additional details, said Pol.Maj.Gen. Methee Kusolsang.
The police have charged Mr. Chinnarat with unauthorised possession of firearms and ammunition.
However, a high-ranking police officer said the police have received reports that Mr. Chinnarat might be one of the armed militants involved in the spree of violence in Bangkok in recent weeks, such as the grenade attacks and shootings on anti-government protesters.
According to the source, Mr. Chinnarat has been assigned to deliver the weapons to other militants, who would use them to cause new violence in the areas of Chaeng Wattana Road and Ladprao district.
Investigation is ongoing.
Correction: Due to an editorial error, this article was originally accompanied by a photo of weapons allegedly found near Banthat Thong Road following a deadly grenade attack on anti-government protesters on 17 January 2014. The mistake has now been fixed.
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