Pol Maj Gen Adis Ngamchitsuksri, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), presented the 58 suspects along with more than 20,000 items seized in raids carried out by more than 300 officers islandwide from daybreak to noon.
Among those arrested were 28 jet-ski operators, facing charges of “breaking jet-ski regulations”, said Gen Adis.
“Of the 58 arrested, 14 were wanted on warrants,” he added.
The remainder comprised three arrested for breaking immigration law; four arrested for working as illegal guides; another four arrested on drug charges plus one man arrested for marijuana possession; four people charged over illegal cosmetics, food products and psychotropic drugs.
Among the items seized and presented to the press today were firearms ranging from pump-action shotguns to hunting rifles to semi-automatic handguns; as well as 38 bullets with loading magazines; counterfeit goods, cosmetics and illegal medicines, including fake Viagra and health products; and some marijuana.
The officers worked in teams of 11, comprising officers from the CIB, Tourist Police, Marine Police, Highway Police, Railway Police, Technology Crime Suppression Division, Economic Crime Suppression Division, Human Trafficking Crime Suppression Police and the Public Sector Anti Corruption Commission.
The raids targeted specified suspects and carried out with warrants, said Gen Adis.
“Phuket is a one of the most popular tourist destinations that generate a lot of income for the country,” Gen Adis said.
“Today, our society is changing rapidly. We are dealing with all sorts of criminals and facing many illegal activities, so the CIB co-ordinated with local police to carry out raids in three Thailand tourist destinations: Phuket,Chiang Mai and Pattaya.”
Officers in Phuket fanned out across Phuket and raided 10 locations, he added.
“At 10am, teams of TCSD and Economic Crime Suppression officers raided shops near the Patong beachfront and seized counterfeit items there,” he said.
“Two unregistered luxury cars were seized from secondhand auto dealers and 18 cars have been clamped so they cannot be removed while officers continue their investigation,” Gen Adis noted.
The anti-crime blitz will continue through Sunday (Feb 21), Gen Adis warned.
“We will be targeting all types of illegal activities, including loan sharks and places selling illegal pharmaceuticals,” he said.
However, at the press conference held at the Tourist Police headquarters in Phuket Town today, Gen Adis made no mention of CIB and CSD officers raiding the home of Srisoonthorn Mayor Worawut Songyos at 6:30am
Officers seized firearms found in the home, then moved to the home of his relative, Jirayut Songyod, and his house with a warrant.
The raids on the Songyos’ homes this morning follow Mayor Worawut last year filing a formal complaint in December 14 about overzealous police raiding homes of the Songyos family without a search warrant.
That raid, carried out by more than 20 officers, was aimed at arresting Padungsak Songyos on a charge of issuing a bad cheque. (See story here.)