Navy scrambling to find ammo thief after ‘Thai Wikileaks’ bombshell

Tens of thousands of rounds of M855 and M856 machine gun shells, as well as a thousand rounds of 40mm grenades, were believed to be stolen. - The Nation

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): An investigative committee has been set up to find who stole ammunition from the naval ordnance arsenal in Chonburi province, said the Royal Thai Navy spokesman, Admiral Pokrong Monthatphalin.

He said the committee was formed on the order of Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, the navy commander-in-chief.

His comments follow the publication on Saturday of leaked documents on the Thai-language Facebook page CSI LA, which has been described as a more pugnacious version of Wikileaks.

Those responsible for the theft of the ammunition will be severely punished, Adm Pokrong said.

The navy staffer suspected of the theft is on the run, he added.

The documents posted by CSI LA say tens of thousands of rounds of M855 and M856 machine gun shells, as well as a thousand rounds of 40mm grenades, were stolen from the arsenal.

The theft was reported to the navy by the Royal Thai Marine Corps on July 5, following an annual inventory of the Naval Ordnance Depot of the First Naval Area Command (Ordnance Division, Royal Thai Navy).

An investigation is under way to determine the exact quantity of the missing ammunition.

After receiving the information from the Royal Thai Marine Corp, the navy reviewed closed-circuit television footage and questioned on-duty personnel.

They concluded that one staffer used a reserve key to secretly enter the arsenal on multiple occasions to steal ammunition.

He has been absent without official leave (AWOL) since July 6.

The navy’s investigation concluded that other on-duty staff had no knowledge of the multiple thefts.

The unit instructed its legal officer to compile a daily report that was submitted as evidence to Plutaluang Police Station in Chonburi’s Sattahip district on July 7.

Officials are gathering more evidence to commence legal action and attempting to locate the AWOL officer and the ammunition.

Adm Choengchai also called for a second committee to be formed to look for additional violations and impose penalties on anyone found to have breached them.

Many comments on the CSI LA Facebook page speculated that the ammunition was sold to Myanmar’s junta, but the Thai navy has neither confirmed nor denied that the junta purchased the ammunition.

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Thailand , navy , ammunition , theft


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