Engulfed by a wave of uncertainty and dread, a clandestine firearms engineer, found refuge in his leased residence within the quiet neighborhoods of Nakhon Si Thammarat. However, this seemingly peaceful abode held secrets only known to Weerayut Pantharangsi, the 32-year-old gunsmith. In a shocking turn of events, the man who had skillfully dodged a police raid a day prior, tragically ended his life inside his home-cum-underground workshop.
High-ranking Officer Pol Maj Gen Somchai Suetortrakul spearheaded a team of disciplined officers, delving into the heavy atmosphere of Weerayut’s rented dwelling at the Kan Kheha 2 housing complex. The ill-fated Thursday afternoon started off on a grim note with Weerayut’s lifeless body near the entrance, the stark crimson puddle painting a grim picture. A bullet wound hinted at the terrible event that had ensued inside the firmly locked residence, the stillness broken only by the unsettling sight of a firearm clutched in his hand.
His kin, heavy-hearted and still coming to terms with the dark revelation, threw light on Weerayut’s planned surrender. His intent to protect his family from potential legal consequences led to his decision of surrendering, a choice he made after narrowly escaping the police raid the day prior. This decision, however, coincided tragically with his physical and emotional struggle – dealing with psoriasis, a debilitating skin condition, coupled with the impending fear of legal repercussions linked to his illicit gun production.
The Wednesday raid unveiled a meticulously orchestrated surveillance network that foresaw the advance of the law enforcement, facilitating Weerayut’s timely escape. Within the confines of his residence was a well-orchestrated workshop replete with sophisticated electric and manual machinery and a stockpile of handmade gun barrels and fake firearms, including military-grade assault rifles.
On the fateful Thursday morning, the custodians of law enforcement received a distressing call, made by Weerayut himself, announcing his intent for surrender. His mother La-or Pantharangsi arrived at the scene with the police. The deafening silence that tempered from the barricaded residence shook the brave woman who repeatedly called out to her son, only to be met with eerie quiet. Eventually, the door was forcefully opened, revealing the horrifying sight of her son’s untimely demise.
In the shadows of Weerayut’s illicit operations, two individuals – Anuwat Sribua and Jinnawat Promkarn – were apprehended. Anuwat, who had been employed by the gunsmith for a mere 1,500 baht, was tasked with handling bank transactions, while Jinnawat was responsible for delivering parcels in return for 300 to 500 baht each delivery.
Deeper investigations revealed that Weerayut, a repeat offender with three prison sentences for drugs and weapons violations, had ventured into the realm of online illegal firearm trade. This unexpected yet tragic unraveling of events serves as a stark reminder of the darker side of the city’s underbelly.