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The couple being questioned at Phuket's Tungtong Police Station today

Phuket Expat Nabbed at Checkpoint with High-Powered Rifle

Saturday, November 12, 2011
PHUKET: A Slovakian man and his Thai wife have been arrested by Phuket police and charged with possession of a high-powered gun which they say they carried for protection.

The man, Ivan Vaclavik, 43, and his wife, Supasa Chaimoksik, 32, were stopped at a checkpoint in Kathu, near the Caltex intersection, about 4am today. Mr Vaclavik told police he had taken the gun from a yacht he owned, which was in dry dock at Ao Po Marina.

He did not want to leave the gun - a bushmaster xm15-e2s - in the vessel, so transferred it to his Honda CRV, he told Tungtong Police.

The couple were arrested and police made further checks on Mr Vaclavik, discovering that he had a Thai marine captain's licence. He is also believed to have business interests in Patong, the holiday town on Phuket's west coast.

The gun came with 26 rounds in a magazine, and a carry bag. The couple said they bought the weapon in the Philippines.

The pair were taken to court in Phuket City late today.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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It's near Christ-mass, the police are after their bonuses this year.

Posted by JM on November 12, 2011 19:55

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Yep, carried for protection. You never no when someone 300 yards away is going to try to mug you. Can't tell you the number of times I have had this happen and wished I had something to protect myself with.

Posted by Martin on November 12, 2011 21:06

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JM- first i fail to understand your comment about bonuses for the police at Christmas- its's a Christian festival, not a buddhist one. Secondly they recovered a high velocity assault weapon who's sole purpose is offensive, not defensive so what's the issue here? I'm sure if they had been seen to take this off a thai person you would have been full of indignation about local people and the proliferation of weapons.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 12, 2011 23:36

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I'm sure if they pulled over every tuk tuk at a checkpoint, a good percentage would havefirearms in them as well

Posted by sky on November 13, 2011 04:35

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Soon Songkran festival said Ivan, slovakian expat, to court; ok then you're free; and, Go back to your yacht with your Bushmaster; and, remember, no early morning trip with war weapon, you are in Thailand, were are tolerant, but do not show off; or we'll cancel your "Non O". Logic and amazing eh ?!

Posted by little soldier wanna play on November 13, 2011 06:50

Editor Comment:

Could you stick with one name, please? Putting whatever you like on the end makes a nonsense of everything you say. It's meant to identify you, not give you an opportunity to comment all over again.

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I for one don't blame this guy at all. Yes, it is an extreme weapon, but perhaps he did not want to join the scores of victims who have been dragged from their vehicles and beaten, at least one into a coma, by the great representatives of the "phuket transport collective".

Posted by fw on November 13, 2011 07:07

Editor Comment:

That's a stretch of the imagination, fw. Pull a weapon in a dispute and the dispute usually becomes worse, not better. As for scores of victims . . . maybe, over 20 years. No point in exaggerating.

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Long guns are the least of Thailand's firearms problem.

Posted by Philip on November 13, 2011 07:35

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fw - your logic escapes me. I find it hard to picture the efficacy of a high powered rifle when someone pulls you from your car to rob you. Or are the thieves here from "Blazing Saddles"? "Pardon me while I whip this out".

Philip - you seem to suggest that some guy carrying a weapon whose primary function is long distance assassination should be ignored because there are other, bigger issues with firearms here. I find it hard to understand why one less goofball with a weapon like this roaming around or delivered to his buyer is a bad thing. Congrats and thank you to the police.

Posted by Martin on November 13, 2011 08:22

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A great many cruising yacht sailors carry firearms these days if they are going to sail up the Red Sea past Somalia. You are supposed to turn it in at immigration and recollect it when you leave. (google cruising yachts + firearms). Would i take an assault rifle on a trip like that? Yes. You want to pick the buggars off at distance, not let them get too close. The Somali pirates favor AK47 and RPG7s with effective ranges of 300m on a moving target. The bushmaster is a bit better then that at about 500m. Perfect defensive weapon for the cruising yachty I'd say. I'm sure this problem will dissolve when the appropriate number of 000's are produced.

Posted by Mr Man on November 13, 2011 09:03

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Seems a rifle with decent range could simply provide an adequate sense of security on the open sea - a decent option while afloat in foreign waters, though more so if in an area with potential for pirates. From his statement, it doesn't seem he anticipated defending himself while in the vehicle - just transferred the weapon there since the boat was perhaps less secure for the time being.

Posted by JustAsking on November 13, 2011 09:19

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Yacht. Malacca Straits. Piracy. Understand?

Posted by Media Watcher on November 13, 2011 09:56

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4 AM on dry land, not headed home but headed to Patong, had been in a pub with 26 rounds of ammunition loaded in a magazine. Understand?

Posted by Martin on November 13, 2011 10:45

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Martin,
Perhaps it was felt the yacht was not secure enough. Please be aware the vast majority of people who own firearms do not do so for nefarious reasons. Your comment
".. delivered to his buyer..." is paranoid speculation.
Case closed.

Posted by Media Watcher on November 13, 2011 11:16

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There's a huge difference between having a weapon for defence on a yacht and driving around with it at 4am in the morning Martin. I can understand transporting it from the marina to a (hopefully) secure locker at home but to be in possession of it at that time of day must raise some eyebrows. As for Media Watcher - I was not aware that the Straits of Malacca run through the center of Phuket - Understand?

Posted by Mister ree on November 13, 2011 11:41

Editor Comment:

Actually the Straits of Malacca run through Bangkok

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Driving in a car at 4AM with a loaded rapid fire assault weapon and assuming he was worried about pirates 1,000 km away is naive speculation. Case closed.

Posted by Martin on November 13, 2011 12:15

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@media watcher. i agree with u, malacca straits sure i would have more rounds and and one more weapon. this guy had no intention of crime, simply protection against it. who wouldn't?

Posted by frog on November 13, 2011 12:45

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Media Watcher

Note the word "or" in Martin's sentence about "delivered to a buyer"..

I can't believe people are actually trying to defend somebody with a war weapon in his car? Is it because he is a foreigner? I have a feeling Media Watcher and FW would sing a different tune had it been a tuk tuk driver in the story instead of this farang. Yes, there is a problem with violent tuk tuk drivers and other things, but I fail to see the connection between that and this guy driving his own car with a High Power assault rifle in his car? Why not mention coral reefs dying too? Or maybe soi dogs suffering or something else that is TOTALLY off topic when it comes to this article.

Posted by christian on November 13, 2011 15:18

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@"Mr." Man.

Should I be aroused by your comments? ;)

Posted by ScubaNinja on November 13, 2011 18:10

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Martin, Understand, no where in the PW report does it say the weapon was loaded. Instead , ".. it came with a magazine .."
Mr Ree Yachts aren't sailing in the middle of Phuket, perhaps from the context of the report, you might make a logical assumption as to the location of the Malacca Straits which are in close proximity to Phuket.

Christian, I defend him as I think he's a potential victim of pirates and will certainly now be harassed from a law that is all about criminals having guns, and no one else.

BTW - If anyone is relying on PG's coverage please note the writer doesn't know that Czech Republic and Slovakia are two separate and distinct countries.

Posted by Media Watcher on November 14, 2011 09:54

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Hi Ed, Straights of Malacha do not run through Bangkok it is the stretch of sea on the west side of Malaysia.

Posted by Adam on November 14, 2011 14:06

Editor Comment:

Sure, but at the moment, there's a lot of water in Bangkok, too.

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"I defend him as I think he's a potential victim of pirates..."

LOL! A pre-emptive pirate strike. Hey, the concept worked for GW Bush in Iraq, maybe this guy should work that angle. The three-hour cruise defense.

Posted by Lana on November 14, 2011 15:02

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ED, glad you can argue your case by making a joke of the terrible situation that is happening in Bangkok, shame on you.
I've seen some of your attempts at justifying your comments but this one takes the biscuit.
Hang your head in shame.

Posted by phuket madness on November 14, 2011 15:08

Editor Comment:

The comment was an aside on the amount of water flowing through Bangkok, phuket madness, nothing more. Perhaps I should have added, for your benefit, ''This is not intended as a joke, nor is it an indication that we take the floods lightly.''

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wow, an eastern european with a loaded assault rifle in his car.... Bit like being back in London. Question is, did he break the law in Thailand? Not whether Somalians present a reason to have this rifle, right? If he broke the law, then he has to take on the consequences.

Posted by AD on November 21, 2011 12:42

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AD,
Yes, the couple broke the law, a law that is all about only criminals having guns. I hope the extenuating circumstances are taken into account and the couple don't lose their entire lives for trying to protect themselves.

Posted by Media Watcher on November 22, 2011 08:50

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The arrest of the alleged persons in possession of a military weapon and its confiscation is something determined by Thai law. However, it is significant that the Slovakian man arrested with his Thai wife most likely endured an upbringing enveloped by war in his region over 20 years. Understandably, he may inherently feel a weapon of this calibre is mandatory for protection of his life when sailing alone. I guess this is the entire premise as to why people justify weapons and ultimately the resulting casualties should a conflict occur.
In my experience, sailing was supposed to be fun. It can be tough and the elements of weather and ocean are more threat than perceived pirates. In fact, any reference to attack by pirates is irrelevant unless you intend sailing through these remote waters.
Ironically, the purchase of military weapons in Western society is impossible but their seemingly readily availability in other nations is a sad indictment on restriction principles invoked in the West.
It's interesting that the varied responses to Phuketwan imply rights of self defence and justice. Despite the current cries for democracy throughout the world, weapons are still determining an outcome with extreme loss of life.
Isn't it time we stopped repeating history and sat down to discuss issues rather than taking up arms? So many years of conflict and so little change. Weapons and attitudes are a little like environmental responses....think globally and act locally. As in Thai vernacular......'Up to You'

Posted by Pe-Terr on November 26, 2011 17:05

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@Pe-Terr

If you mean Balkan wars in 90s, then Slovakia is not part of Balkans.
If you means Slovenia, then Slovenia although part of ex.Yugoslavia, didn't have a war there too.

Other segments of ex.Yugoslavia did.

Posted by Sue on November 24, 2013 01:08


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