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Weapon parts seized in Thailand could be for Burma’s rebels

March 16, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Weapon parts seized in Thailand could be for Burma’s rebels
©  S.H.A.N.
March 16, 2010  16:55

Thai police think the illegally made M79 grenade launcher parts seized in Ayutthaya on 13 March and more in the neighboring Samut Prakan on the next day are for the United Wa State Army (UWSA) that is currently at loggerheads with Burma’s ruling military junta over the Border Guard Force (BGF) deal, according to the news community in Bangkok.

The factory owner Cherdyod Jirawattanarak had reportedly admitted that he had already delivered over 1,000 of the parts to the arms traffickers. Police found 600 completed parts for the M79 grenade launchers.

Chief of Police Region #1 Krissada Pankongchuen said his investigators had yet to conclude that the seizures were linked to the red shirt demonstrations that began on 13 March, the same day the seizure was made.

“But the huge quantity of the seizure indicates that they are likely to be more for export than for internal use,” a newsman quoted the police as saying.

Demand for arms and ammo have been on the rise since tensions between the Burma Army and the UWSA were on the rise since last year.

Though they are more easily purchased in China, with which the Wa share a common border, transporting them to the Thai-Burma border through several checkpoints set up by the Burma Army has been an unsolvable problem, according to Wa sources.

[End.]

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