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Airforce officer claims he sells war weapons alone, but police not convinced

Jun 05. 2017
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By The Nation

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A Royal Thai Air Force officer has confessed to buying assault rifles, grenades and a large amount of ammunition from Cambodia for ethnic Karen “customers” in Tak province in northwest Thailand.

Flight Sergeant Pakhin Detphong, 40, made the confession at a press conference on Monday. 

He was arrested on Saturday along with two other suspects, one of them a Cambodian, on charges of possessing weapons of war. 

Pakhin, an air force officer attached to the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said his vehicle, carrying the huge quantity of guns and weapons, had evaded inspections because it bore an emblem that looked a lot like what military vehicles have. 

“This is the third time I engaged in weapon sales,” Pakhin said.

Found in the vehicle were 30 assault rifles, four machine guns, and a huge amount of ammunition – 4,147 AK-47 bullets and 54 M79 grenades.

Pakhin claimed he had arranged the weapon deals himself, without any mastermind. But police doubt this.

“We don’t believe this claim. We will investigate further,” Deputy National Police Commissioner Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said.

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