Pattaya Daily News

03 February 2010 :: 17:02:13 pm 12232

North Korea Arms Traffickers Remain in Thai Prison

Thailand's Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) have received no request from Kazakhstan or Belarus to temporarily release the five-man crew facing charges of illegal possession of explosive devices after arms were impounded from a Georgian-registered aircraft from North Korea at Don Mueang airport in December, according to a senior OAG official.
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Sirisak Tiyaphan, director-general of the office of Attorney-General’s international affairs department told reporters that the agency had not received any request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, he said, if there was such a request, it would depend on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ decision to report it to the government in order to let the agencies concerned to jointly consider how to respond.

His remarks were in response to a report that Kazakhstan had request theThai government to temporarily release the five suspects. The crew will likely face legal procedures in Kazakhstan and Belarus, MrSirisak said. The five suspects–four from Kazakhstan and one from Belarus–faced charges, including illegal arms possession.

Their Russian-made plane refuelled at Don Mueang airport on December 12 enroute from North Korea to Ukraine, via Sri Lanka. New, ready-to-use military weapons include explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, components for surface-to-air missiles and other armaments totally weighing some 35 tonnes were carried on the aircraft.

The five men, who denied any involvement in transporting armaments, were arrested and charged with carrying weapons without permission, illegally bringing them to Thailand and failing to inform officials of their items.

The shipment breached the UN Security Council resolution which bans NorthKorea from exporting arms and weapons-related materiel. The five-man crew were denied bail and are detained in Bangkok Special Prison. The OAG is scheduled to make decision whether to proceed with the case or not on February 11.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman denied claims that the Ilyushin Il-76cargo aircraft was bound for Iran’s capital Tehran, saying that there is no link between the aircraft and Iran. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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