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Thailand files new charges against arms plane crew

RIA Novosti


BANGKOK, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - New charges have been filed against the crew of an arms-laden cargo plane seized in Bangkok in mid-December, the Bangkok Post newspaper has said citing police sources.

Officials said the weapons included portable anti-aircraft missile systems and spare parts for ground-to-air missiles shipped from North Korea to an unknown destination.

The plane's five crew members, of whom one is from Belarus and the other four are from Kazakhstan, were arrested following the seizure and taken to Bangkok's Klong Prem Central Prison. A court has earlier declined to release them on bail.

"The group has been additionally charged with carrying weapons in the plane without permission, illegally taking them to Thailand, and failing to inform officials of the items," the newspaper said, citing Crime Suppression Division (CSD) chief Supisal Pakdinarunart, who heads an investigation into the case.

The crew was earlier charged with illegal storage and transportation of weapons and providing false information.

Pakdinarunart has earlier said the five crew members might be also charged with illegal storage of explosives, but the charge has not been filed so far.

A United Nations resolution bans the transportation of certain weapons, including conventional arms, to or from North Korea, which is under international sanctions.

The crew members have said they were unaware of the military nature of the cargo. They say they were told the cargo was oil drilling equipment.

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