Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Pongwut Pongsri announced the results of the crackdown at a press conference held at the Region 8 Police headquarters, located at the northern tip of Phuket, on Friday (Aug 23).
The press conference was held to highlight the number firearms and drugs seized during Region 8 Police’s ongoing campaign “Protection for safety of residents 2019” that began on June 27, Gen Pongwut said.
The most recent stages of the crackdown, from July 20-29 and Aug 3-12, saw elevated police efforts in the seven Southern Thailand provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Gen Pongwut explained.
During the crackdown, police throughout the seven provinces arrested 238 suspects for illegal firearms and ammunicition, he said.
Of the 193 firearms seized was an automatic rifle. Also seized were 1,340 rounds of ammunition.
The blitz also saw 2,212 drug suspects arrested in 2,131 cases, Gen Pongwut explained.
The drug raids netted 171,899 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine) and 6,697 grams of crystal meth (ya ice), he said.
Police also seized 145kg of dried marijuana, 14.57 grams of heroin, 6.623kg of kratom leaves and 267 litres of kratom juice.
A total of 272 suspects involved in illegal racing (both drivers and “supporters”) were arrested and charged, gen Pongwut said.
A total of 37 cars and 685 motorbikes seized, he added.
A total 630 illegal vehicle modification items were seized – mostly motorbike exhausts – of which some 500 such items were destroyed in a public display on Friday.