Pol Lt Gen Piya Tawichai, Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner, examines guns seized from a 21-year-old university student at his condominium room in Chiang Mai. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)
CHIANG MAI: A 21-year-old university student arrested on a charge of selling guns online has told police he used the income to pay for his studies.
Officers of the police technology crime suppression centre, Provincial Police Region 5 and Chang Phuek police station arrested Watcharaphol Thamwai, 21, of Lampang, at his condominium room in Muang district on Wednesday.
They also sezied one 9mm pistol, 5 modified replica pistols, 14 replica pistols, ammunition and firearms accessories, Pol Lt Gen Piya Tawichai, Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner, told reporters on Thursday.
Mr Watcharaphol is a second-year-student at a university in Chiang Mai.
The raid followed receipt of information that a Line group named “Chang Tham Phuen’’ (gun maker) illegally sold firearms online.
Investigators compiled a case and then obtained a search warrant from Chiang Mai Provincial Court.
Mr Watcharaphol has been charged with illegal possession, making and selling of guns and ammunition.
During questioning, he told police that he was a former technical college student and had a keen interest in guns. He learned how to make and modify them from YouTube. He then sold guns via “Chang Tham Phuen’’ Line group.
He had purchased replica pistols for 3,000-5,000 baht each, modified them to use live ammunition and sold them for 8,000-10,000 baht each. He had sold guns online for about two years and had around 100 customers.
He used the money from the sales to meet his study costs and daily expenses.
Pol Maj Gen Voraphong Khamlua, investigation chief at Provincial Police Region 5, said investigators examined his sales records and found that one gun had been sold to a customer in Bangkok who used it kill another person 3-4 months ago.
All his customers would be questioned and legal action would be taken, Pol Maj Gen Voraphong said.
Watcharaphol Thamwai, 21, seated, is arrested in his condominium room, where police also seized guns and ammunition. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)
Guns seized from the suspect’s room. (Photo: Panumet Tanraksa)