Arms jet crew detention extended

Thai court accepts police plea for more time to investigate destination of seized weapons.

    The Ilyushin IL-76 cargo aircraft carrying weapons was seized during a refuelling stop in Bangkok [AFP]

    The crew said they thought they were carrying oil-drilling equipment, rather than explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles, as the Thai government initially reported.

    That contradicts a report from arms-trafficking experts.

    Details under wraps

    Full details of the weapons and where they were manufactured have not been disclosed.

    "We need more time to investigate and interrogate," Sompot Khempeth, a police major, said after the Bangkok Criminal Court accepted a police request to extend the crew's detention an additional 12 days.

    They can be held up to 84 days.

    The crew members were not present at court and were to be informed of the ruling via video conference later in the day, Sompot said.

    Thai authorities, acting on a US tip, impounded the Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft on December 12 during a refuelling stop in Bangkok.

    They seized the weapons and transferred them to a Thai military base for inspection.

    The Thailand government has been investigating the arms cache and says it will send the results to the UN.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.