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Cablegate: Blue Lantern Level 3: Pre-License End-Use Check On

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBK #6129/01 3470839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130839Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1046
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BANGKOK 006129

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PM/DTTC FOR BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KOMC TH
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON
LICENSE 05-050070198 AND 05-050071878

REF: A. SECSTATE 157006
B. KBALLARD-THINES DECEMBER 6 EMAIL

1. (U) According to the Ministry of Commerce, Department of
Business Development, Aekphatt Firearms Ltd Partnership is
registered as follows:

Registration No. 0103511003562
Registered Date: March 6, 1968
Status: Limited Partnership
Name: Aekphatt Firearms, Limited Partnership
Capital Registration: 2,550,000 baht
Business partners: Chatri Sukthawi, Krit Khantapura,
Thanyaphat Suwanphanit, Thawisak Manprasong, and Phimphloi
Phongphakdi.
Managing Partners: Chatri Sukthawi, Krit Khantapura, and
Thawisak Manprasong. Chatri, Krit, or Thawisak may make a
legal commitment with the shop's stamp.

Location: 507/37 Mu 7, Nong Pling Sub-District, Nakhon
Sawan District, Nakhon Sawan Province
The company has submitted annual financial reports for
1999-2006.

Business Purpose: To sell guns, ammunition, equipment, and
gun accessories.

2. (U) According to the Telephone Directory Center, Aekphatt
Firearms Ltd., Part. is not listed. Krit Khantapura, a
Managing Partner, provided the firm's telephone number as
02-623-8688-9. The Directory Center subsequently reported
that these numbers are registered under the name of Worathep
Khantapura, located at 2/5, Old Siam Plaza, Phahurat Road,
Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200. Worathep is
the father of Krit Khantapura, a Partner Manager.

3. (U) POL FSN December 6 made an unannounced visit to the
firm. It is located in a four-story concrete building in a
section of Bangkok where many other gun shops are located.
POL FSN met with Krit and Worathep Khantapura. The shop is
located at 2/5 The Old Siam Plaza, Bangkok, as stated in Ref.
A. Krit and Worathep confirmed the planned purchases of
1,770 .38 Cal. and 820 .357 Cal. revolvers from Smith and
Wesson Corp. for the Department of Provincial Administration,
Ministry of Interior, as stated in Ref. A. The purchasing
agency is the Bureau of the Territorial Defense Volunteer
Administration of the Department of Provincial
Administration. Krit confirmed the information as found in
the business registration and presented the shop's
Gun-Selling and Possession Permits issued by the Ministry of
Interior, No. 214/2550, dated September 18, 2007, to expire
September 17, 2008. Aekphatt opened a head office in Nakhon
Sawan in 2006 and the Bangkok office is now a branch office.
Chatri Sukthawi, a partner, provided copies of import permits
No. 570/2550, dated June 28, 2007, to expire June 27, 2008,
for the import of 1,770 revolvers and No. 571/2550, dated
June 28, 2007, to expire June 27, 2008, for the import of 820
revolvers. He also provided the copies of Aekphatt's
Purchase Orders No. 1/2007 and No. 2/2007, not dated, to the
Smith & Wesson for the purchases of the revolvers.

4. (U) POL FSN met December 6 with Somchai Kiatkongkaew,
Chief of the Welfare Section, Bureau of the Territorial
Defense Volunteer Administration, Department of Provincial
Administration, Ministry of Interior. Somchai is responsible
for the purchase of the revolvers and confirmed the two
purchases as stated in Ref. A. Somchai presented the
purchase order for 2,590 revolvers (1,770 and 820) No.
101/2550, dated October 5, 2007, signed between Bureau of the
Territorial Defense Volunteer Administration and Aekphatt,
and an official letter issued by his Bureau in English, dated
July 2007, confirming the purchase.

5. (U) Additional questions per Ref. B:

What are the procedures by which MoI distributes these
firearms to other agencies and/or individual law enforcement
officials?

Answer: The guns have been ordered by Bureau of Territorial
Defense Volunteer Administration in Bangkok and will be sold
to government officials in the security sector. The guns
will be kept in controlled storage prior to sale by the
Bureau. Officials must pick up the gun in person and present
permits in order to receive the gun. These guns are not sold
to any other agency.

Does the Government of Thailand maintain records that
identify each firearm by serial number and to whom each

firearm has been distributed?

Answer: Each gun would have both US and Thai serial numbers.
The Bureau of Registration Administration, Ministry of
Interior, will maintain these records along with the name,
address, and other information for each individual purchasing
a gun.

What requirements exist for an individual to purchase a
firearm from MoI?

Answer: 1) The purchaser must be a government or state
official (police, military, MoI officials, or civil servants
working in a security-related field), and 2) must obtain
permission to buy the gun from their supervisor and the local
registrar (Bureau of Registration Administration for Bangkok
purchasers and District Offices in the provinces) based on
the Thai Firearm, Ammunition, Explosive Articles, Firework
and Firearm Imitation Article Act 1947.

What are the limitations, if any, for an individual who seeks
to do so?

Answer: Guns purchased under this program cannot be resold or
transferred to others, except as an inheritance. The
purchasing official must use personal funds to buy the gun,
not state funds. Ordinary citizens are prohibited from
purchasing guns under this program. An official who wants to
purchase a gun under this program must not already own a gun
or have purchased a different type of gun from a separate
source. Officials can only purchase a gun from this program
once in their career.

What weapons are being replaced by MOI and in what quantity?

Answer: None. These guns are for private/individual use, not
for government use or for replacement purposes.

What will be done with the older firearms?

Answer: N/A, as stated above.

Does the Government of Thailand have specific procedures to
collect the firearms that are being replaced?

Answer: N/A, as stated above.

What security measures are taken by MoI to manage the chain
of possession of these firearms?

Answer: After distribution, it is the individual owner's
responsibility to secure the gun. The Bureau of Registration
Administration will be the agency to track the guns to ensure
that they remain in the possession of the licensed owners.

6. (U) Prior to distribution, the guns will be stored in an
iron-walled facility that measures approximately five by ten
by three meters. The room is located inside a one-story
concrete building on the compound of the Bureau of the
Territorial Defense Volunteer Administration. The iron walls
are approximately five millimeters thick. The room has an
iron gate with two key-locks for access. There is a
closed-circuit television camera in front of the room. The
room does have smoke detectors or a fire control system. At
night and on holidays, ten armed guards secure the compound
with two guards stationed in front of the storage facility.
BOYCE

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