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British tourist arrested in Phuket for brandishing gun

A 39 year old British man, identified as Mr. Bryant, (reported as a 38 year old ‘Mr. Jaime’ in other Thai media) was apprehended by Kamala Police and Royal Phuket Immigration following an ‘altercation’ with a companion in a Tuk Tuk in Kamala.

The incident occurred in the early hours of the new year.

According to authorities, the arrest was prompted by an alert from an unidentified Tuk Tuk driver who claimed that one of the foreign passengers possessed a firearm. The taxi, transporting two foreigners from Patong to Kamala, witnessed a “dispute” between the two men.

Allegedly, Mr. Bryant brandished a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and struck the other person with its blunt end in Soi Paradise 1, Kamala.

Police discovered a bullet cartridge and later positively identified Mr. Bryant. Subsequently, he moved from Kamala to Wichit, where he was apprehended whilst staying with his ‘Thai girlfriend’.

During questioning, Mr. Bryant disclosed that he had been intoxicated and engaged in a disagreement with a friend from Patong Beach, whose identity was not disclosed. He claimed to have borrowed the gun from a Thai individual for self-protection, though the lender’s identity hasn’t been disclosed by police or reported in Thai media.

The motive for a tourist carrying a firearm in Thailand was unclear.

Seized from Mr. Bryant were a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and 50 bullets. He now faces charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition without legal permission, as well as carrying a gun in public without legal permission. The weapon and ammunition were reportedly discarded near the Mueang Chao Fa Lagoon on Chao Fa West Road in Wichit.

Phuket Immigration revealed that Mr. Bryant had entered Thailand three times via Suvarnabhumi Airport last year, staying in Phuket.

Despite showcasing a luxurious lifestyle on Instagram, featuring personal airplane travel to various countries, he was travelling on a three-month tourist visa at the time of the incident.

Authorities are investigating his activities in Phuket and the necessity of carrying a firearm as a tourist. The potential consequences for his visa status, including withdrawal or deportation, are pending further investigation into any connections to illegal businesses or ventures.

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