Immigration Official Charged for Weapons Possession in Thailand

A Cambodian immigration officer and two Thai nationals have been charged for illegal weapons possession in Thailand and are being held in Trat Provincial Prison while they await trial on suspicion of weapons smuggling, The Bangkok Post reported on Sunday.

Lean Pisith, a police officer working at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, was arrested on June 3 as he was driving back to Cambodia, an international border checkpoint director said earlier this month. The other two suspects were arrested the same day.

The Cambodian suspect, identified by The Bangkok Post as immigration officer Pisid Lieng, and Thai national Jakkraphong Kraikraing had been driving in what police said was a suspicious manner near the scene of Thai flight sergeant Pakhin Detphong’s crashed pickup truck two hours before their vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint by military officers, the newspaper reported. Mr. Pakhin’s truck was found filled with guns, grenades and ammunition.

Mr. Pisith and Mr. Jakkraphong have denied any involvement in arms smuggling, but police said Mr. Pakhin had told them Mr. Pisith “had brought all the weapons from Cambodia on June 2 by using his VIP status to get through the checkpoints,” The Bangkok Post reported.

Keo Vannthan, immigration department spokesman, said on Sunday that he did not work on Sundays and hung up on a reporter. Later, he requested questions be sent to him but did not respond by 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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