Tourist arrested in Thailand selling homemade weapons
Phuket police found a large number of homemade firearms, grenades, and ammunition in the home of a retired engineer from New Zealand
Provincial police officers knew the man as 63-year-old Gareth Davis of New Zealand. After reports from local residents, police searched his home and found seven rifles, including two assault rifles, 19 pistols, 11 grenades and a large quantity of ammunition.
“The man was selling guns through the Internet. Police had been following him, and some Phuket residents gave information … The man is a mechanical engineer and is capable of making parts of weapons that are not subject to registration,” said Lt. Gen. Surapong Thanomchit.
The provincial police commissioner said the foreigner was part of an illegal firearms sales network in Thailand, and police are expanding their investigation into the illegal network’s activities.
“He could be a buyer as well as a seller. The house was also a manufacturing and modification facility. Apparently, weapons testing was conducted there because there was a box inside to test soundproof ammunition and silencers,” the commissioner said.
Mr. Davis became wheelchair-bound five years ago because of a bone disease. He entered Thailand through Suvarnabhumi Airport on Feb. 11, 2010, and currently has a retirement visa extended through Nov. 24, 2023.
The New Zealander lived with his Thai wife for 20 years before her death, the commissioner said. Before retiring at age 55, the man worked as a drilling platform engineer in southern Thailand.
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