Police in Ko Samui said on Wednesday that they did not think the gun was purchased to commit a crime in Thailand nor had the arrested man a criminal background.

An Australian man was arrested on Wednesday as he tried to board a plane flight on Ko Samui with a handgun and 96 rounds of ammunition. He told police he had bought the gun at a local shop on the island. The tourist, on holiday with his family, said he purchased the firearm from a shop on the island and that it was not an illegal firearm.

(Right) Officers with the Royal Thai Police at Bophut Police Station in Ko Samui where legal proceedings are being processed against an Australian tourist after an illegal handgun was found in his luggage on Wednesday. He was in the process of boarding a flight from Ko Samui to Suvarnabhumi Airport with his family.

An Australian tourist was arrested at the main airport in Ko Samui as he tried to board a flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport with a handgun and ammunition concealed in his baggage.

The Australian was taken into custody at 1 pm on Wednesday according to a briefing given on Thursday by Police Colonel Suparuek Phankosol, the Immigration Bureau Chief in Surat Thani.

He is now understood to be on bail although the case is still before the courts.

X-rays alerted officials at Ko Samui Airport to the handgun and 96 rounds of ammunition in the tourist’s check-in baggage before his arrest by police

Police officers at the facility in the Bophut area of Ko Samui were alerted by X-rays of the tourist’s luggage which showed the gun broken into pieces and ammunition spread across seven bags checked in by the Australian tourist and his family who are visiting Thailand on holiday.

The accused man is accompanied on his trip to Thailand by his wife and three children.

After the discovery was verified by a search of the Australian national’s luggage he was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition in Thailand.

The gun and ammunition were also seized by authorities.

The Australian, when questioned by investigators, revealed that he had purchased the gun from a shop in the Bophut area of Ko Samui.

He said he purchased the weapon for personal use and thought it was legal.

Tourist said family were on their way home to Australia via Singapore yet had no onward flights booked

The Australian, believed to be from Sydney, New South Wales, also told police that the family planned to travel from Bangkok to Singapore and from there back to Australia but they had not yet booked their onward flights.

He has been transferred to Bophut Police Station where he is being held as legal proceedings are processed against him.

Police are understood to be satisfied that the arrested man did not purchase the firearm to commit an offence in Thailand nor did he appear to have a criminal background or be linked to transnational crime.

Join the Thai News forum, follow Thai Examiner on Facebook here
Receive all our stories as they come out on Telegram here
Follow Thai Examiner here

Further reading:

Elite Thai police units arrest Ukrainian tax evaders living in Phuket after raiding their luxury villa

On the run German drug cartel chiefs arrested in Immigration Bureau dual swoops on Phuket and Ko Phangan

Brit to be deported as Immigration Bureau boss ordered to get tough with dangerous foreigners in the kingdom

UK man on a tourist visa arrested for offshore gun terror and serious drug charges on Ko Samui after day out

Danish man arrested, facing charges after Pattaya drug dealing sting at local hospital coffee shop

Nigerian drug dealer betrayed in Phuket as local police receive tip-off that led them to his arrest

Criminal probe launched in Bangkok after six drug users were found dead after suffering acute cardiac issues

Gamblers and hosts at illegal gambling dens are being jailed as massive crackdown proceeds apace

Sadistic murderer ‘Ice Metal Casket’ sentenced for rape of a woman at gunpoint in latest conviction

Ministry asks Covid-19 unit to halt travel from the UK over new ‘Kent’ strain found among a family

Top Thai and US drug suppression officials warn of the use of cryptocurrencies in the drug trade

Bizarre and macabre tragedy in Udon Thani as deranged man murders his wife and daughters over college debt

Drug police put retraction behind them to smash billion baht Myanmar drug operation in Bangkok raid

Use of cocaine and cannabis is still highly illegal in Thailand with very serious legal consequences

One of the biggest drug dealers in the South flees home as Thai police and army move against him