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Pattaya Daily News

16 December 2009 :: 07:12:42 am 30949

Police Filing More Charges Against Crew of Arms Aircraft

BANGKOK, Dec 15 (TNA) Thai police on Tuesday inspected arms impounded from a Georgia-registered aircraft at Don Mueang airport and expect to file more charges on possession of illegal explosive devices against the five-man crew.
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Over 100 police went to Takhli airbase at Nakhon Sawan, 230 kilometres north of Bangkok, to inspect 145 crates of arms worth about US$18 million seized at Don Mueang on Saturday.

New, ready-to-use weapons include explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, components for surface-to-air missiles and other armaments, according to Pol. Col Sutthisarn Paksinaruenart, commander of the police crime suppression division, who said that all are military weapons, not used before.

Specialists will inspect the weaponry to determine their source, which may not be North Korea as all markings appearing on them are in English. Police will file more charges against crew on possessing illegal explosives.

The weaponry will remain at the Thai Air Force base in Nakhon Sawan, awaiting orders from the court whether to destroy them or retain them as exhibits. He said the air force base in Nakhon Sawan has Thailand’s most secure arms depot.

Meanwhile, the attorney general has not yet appointed a prosecutor to co-investigate the case, said Deputy Attorney-General Thaworn Phanichphan. The case is awaiting investigation and evidence to determine how much the case involves other countries.

Initially the Thai authorities followed the country’s justice procedures to file charges against the crew. If they also commit crime in another country, they can be extradited on a request of that country, said Sirisak Thiyapan Sirisak Tiyaphan, director-general of the office of Attorney-General’s international affairs department.

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn who said the National Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council said there is no reward for the seizure of the weapons and the arrest of the crew.

Thailand may ask the United Nations (UN) to send specialists to inspect the weapons and report back to the world body. If the weapons are to be destroyed, Thailand may ask for budget assistance from international agencies.

The five-man crew — four from Kazakhstan and one from Belarus — were denied bail and are detained in Bangkok Special Prison by the Attorney-General’s international affairs department. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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