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Vientiane Police Crack Down On Gun Trade

Source: Vientiane Times

The illegal online trade in firearms is partly responsible for the increase in the number of robberies and murders taking place in Vientiane, police say, while officers are cracking down on the trade.

Speaking at a press conference recently, Head of Office of Vientiane Public Security Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Soulivanh Latsavong, said the use of firearms was on the increase and that more murders were being committed this way.

The illegal sale and purchase of guns has become widespread, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook. Over the past year, police have dealt with numerous such cases, he said.

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The most recent murder involving the use of a firearm occurred in the city on July 19 when two young women were shot dead and their mother injured at their house in Sengsavang village, Xaysettha district. Vientiane Public Security Headquarters said the two sisters were shot at around 12:15 pm.

The following day, police arrested the ex-husband of one of the women and charged him with the murders. During their investigations they found a gun believed to have been used in the killings. The mother of the two women said the suspect shot her daughters while they were cooking lunch and then fled the scene.

The shooting occurred following a dispute between the suspect and his ex-wife after a court assigned custody of their two young sons to his former partner.

Vientiane police also recently arrested several men on charges of motorbike theft and found two guns in their possession.