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Gun crime on the rise in Thailand

A closed circuit video camera captures something that's happening more and more in Thailand... a robbery at a shop that sells gold. The robbery was interrupted when the owners cousin, who lives next door, rushed to the scene and began firing his 9-millimetre pistol. A shoot-out ensued. The robbers escaped with only half of the merchandise, an outcome that the cousin says could have been much worse. Despite gun laws that include strict background checks, firearm related crimes have been on the rise. There have been more recorded gun crimes in Bangkok in the first 8 months of this year alone than in the whole of 2011. Although police try to clamp down on illegal firearms-- they've conducted at least three seizures this year-- problems remain. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) POLICE COMMISSIONER OF METROPOLITAN POLICE BUREAU COMRONWIT TOOPGRAJANK SAYING: "After the statistics came out, the guns that we captured aren't guns that were produced in Thailand or old guns. The guns are good quality, guns from overseas. But they fall into the hands of criminals and people who know what they're doing. They'll sell it as illegal weapons, erase the license numbers, writing new numbers so we can't track them down. But this should no longer be a problem because of strict laws." Simulated robberies like this one help prepare shop owners and police should they find themselves in a similar situation. With no conclusive reason behind the rise in gun crime, it's more likely than not that it could happen sooner than later.

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