Pattaya’s “Top Cops” are not smiling and thats not a good sign for local hoods, but then neither is keeping the Local Police Major General and Colonels up all night managing several swoops on illegal gun owners.
Sunday at 11.30 in the morning, journalists gathered at Soi 9 to see a grubby gang of gun runners and gunmen presented to the press along with thieves and drug users, following arrests made in a concentrated effort to reduce the number of illegal guns in the city and reduce general crime rates.
Also on display was a collection of stolen goods, enough ammunition to support a minor battle zone and guns that belong in the wild west, and not in a city dedicated to tourism.
Drug addicts, thieves and gunmen were all rounded up as part of the regional cleanup operation. The City and Police force have simply had enough of the daily crimes committed, according to officials, and are now determined to make the city less attractive to this element of society.
In the past the city HAS drawn a large proportion of “gangster style” local nationals who have seen the city, its residents and even visitors as easy pickings. The relaxed style of life here means that many wander around wearing expensive gold bracelets and carry abnormally large amounts of cash. Obviously that’s not a crime but it has almost become a walking advertisement to the criminal fraternity.
Pattaya cops dragged in 28 year old Wittaya , who migrated here from Chonburi and specialized in street-side armed robberies. When arrested he was in possession of two guns a rifle and a shotgun, along with a bucket full of ammunition for each.
24 year old Supud commonly known as Ball who now wishes he had stayed in Samut Songkhram has to explain his possession of 5 women’s handbags, which obviously weren’t his, along with a Fino motor scooter.
At least 10 others were arrested for drug possession and use.
Meanwhile Banglamung Police weren’t sleeping either, as they invited a 32 year old and a 47 year old local national to their station for a chat, following their arrest, during which 2 handguns and another weapon were discovered with ammunition for each of them.
According to officials at Pattaya Police station, local criminals are usually drug users who hang around with the heavier criminals from whom they get their supplies and to whom they sell their stolen goods.
Yesterday too, more illegal gun dealers were arrested and Police promise that the operation will continue over the next few months with the continued goal of removing these types from society.
Nobody said clearing Pattaya was going to be easy but the changes have been evident to regular visitors and locals as the authorities have introduced numerous new methods to meet their objective of clean streets. The Mayor himself set the objectives at the time he was re-elected and, at the time, many saw this as simply words but activity in recent months has proved otherwise
The deeds are now there to be seen. The city has CCTV in almost every area, new enforcement teams have been set up to manage the high traffic areas enjoyed by tourists and the rest of the city has seen its major crimes solved quickly. As the high season draws to a close, so the Police can concentrate on reducing the attraction of the region to potential dealers and other criminals.