Source: Vientiane Times
Vientiane police are pursuing their investigations into a network of people allegedly selling weapons in Laos.
Addressing a press conference on March 4, Vientiane Police Headquarters Deputy Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Khampheng Xayalath, said officials would step up efforts to track down other suspects involved in weapons dealing and would seek to obtain more information from those already in police custody.
Police held the press conference to inform the public that they had broken up a gang of weapons dealers and had impounded a number of items they were using as evidence against the suspects.
Headquarters officials reported they had arrested 12 people last November and after carrying out further investigations had arrested eight more suspects later that month.
Officials have so far arrested 20 people including five women, and another group of nine people from Thailand including four women.
Police displayed items seized as evidence, including 17 rifles and 11 pistols, 24 grenades, 693 bullets, three knives, money and other weapons-related items. They had also confiscated crystal methamphetamine and amphetamines.
Lieutenant Colonel Khampheng said they had obtained a lot of useful information from their sources and then assigned officials to carry out further investigations.
He said they wanted to ascertain the truth of the reports they had received before submitting the case to the Vientiane Administration Office and the Ministry of Public Security and asking for authorisation to make arrests.
Police subsequently arrested 12 people on November 24, 2015, before expanding their operations and arresting another eight people over the next four days.
Lieutenant Colonel Khampheng said they had carried out the wishes of the Vientiane Administration Office to make Vientiane a safe and peaceful city, and had played their part in ensuring stability in the capital.
Officials plan to continue to protect the public from destructive elements and said this case was important in giving them leads to pursue investigations into other suspects connected to the trade in weapons.