House committee to review illegal arms sale allegation

House committee to review illegal arms sale allegation

The Crime Victims Assistance Club on Friday filed a complaint with the House committee on military affairs, asking it to look into a case involving a soldier who allegedly sold army weapons to an illegal arms trafficking gang in a neighbouring country.

Club chairman Atchariya Ruangrattanapong handed a petition to Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, leader of the Thai Civilized Party and chairman of the House committee.

Mr Atchariya said he previously filed a complaint with the army over the matter, and Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy army spokeswoman, later said the culprit was sacked from the army and now faces legal action and the weapons have been retrieved.

However, the army's action may have cut short an investigation into the issue, Mr Atchariya said, adding he believes some senior army officers may have been involved. Therefore, he has asked the House committee to look into the case, he said.

Mr Mongkolkit said he will raise the issue at a committee meeting next week to consider whether or not it will summon agencies involved, especially the army, to explain the matter.

On Thursday, Col Sirichan said the army has set up an inquiry panel to investigate the complaint lodged by Mr Atchariya.

In his complaint, Mr Atchariya accused the 9th Infantry Division of dereliction of duty by turning a blind eye to the theft and smuggling of weapons and cars across the border for sale in Myanmar.

Col Sirichan said that the division had been alerted to the case even before the complaint was lodged, adding anyone found guilty of the crime will face disciplinary punishment and legal action.

An army source said all the weapons have now been retrieved and the incident took place three months ago.

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