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

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBK #0521/01 0460946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150946Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1852
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BANGKOK 000521

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 05-050076805

REF: SECSTATE 6068

1. (U) According to the Thai Ministry of Commerce, Wanmelarp
Firearms Ltd Partnership was registered as follows:

Registration No. 0103518012168
Registered Date: August 4, 1975
Status: Limited Partnership
Name: Name: Wanmelarp Firearms Part. Ltd.
Capital Registration: 190,000 Baht
Business partners: Suwanna Laohaphiengsak, Rattana
Laohaphiengsak, Chaiwat Laohaphiengsak, Thanin
Laohaphiengsak, Ubon Laohaphiengsak, Wanthani Laohaphiengsak,
and Suphanni Laohaphiengsak.
Manager: Suwanna Laohaphiengsak, without limitation of
authority.

Company Location: 111 Nakhon Sawan Road, Wat Sommanat
Sub-District, Pomphrap District, Bangkok

The company has submitted annual financial reports for
1999-2007.

Purpose of Company: Wholesale and retail sale of guns and
ammunition.

2. (U) The company was not listed in the telephone directory.
The phone number stated Reftel was registered under the name
of the Rattana Firearms Ltd. Part. and Thanin Laohaphiengsak,
located at 105 Unakan Rd., Wang Burapha Phirom Sub-District,
Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok.

3. (U) POL FSN made an unannounced visit to the address
listed Reftel and met Thanin Laohaphiengsak. The building
was located on a busy street in Bangkok. It was a four-story
shop house used for administrative and living purposes.
Several administrative staff were in the office. Thanin
explained that this was not a gun shop, but that it was used
for administration, living quarters, and gun storage. Guns
are brought to show or sell at gun shops that are operated by
his family at other locations. One of the family-owned gun
shops was Rattana Firearms in Bangkok. Thanin declined to
elaborate on how many gun shops his family owns. He said he
was not directly involved with gun sales; rather his sisters
and brothers run the sales. Thanin showed POL FSN the gun
storage area on the second floor that was secured by three
doors. The area was a concrete room with dimensions of
approximately seven by eighteen by nine feet. The room was
secured by double iron gates with padlocks. There were
sixteen security cameras around the building, but there were
no security guards nor a fire control system.

4. (U) Additional questions per Reftel:

How long has your company been in the business of importing
and selling defense articles in Thailand?

Answer: Since 1975 as a family-run business.

What services and products are sold by your company?

Answer: The company sells pistols, revolvers, rifles,
ammunition, and gun accessories as allowed by Ministry of
Interior. The company does not sell military-style weapons
nor do they fix or modify guns. The company imports guns
from the U.S. and the Europe.

Who are your regular customers and where do they reside?

Answer: The general public, civil servants, and law
enforcement personnel who reside throughout Thailand. Civil
servants in Bangkok are allowed to buy guns via the Ministry
of Interior's Department of Provincial Administration and
civil servants residing outside Bangkok are allowed to buy
through the Ministry of Interior's District Office. Buyers
must be Thai citizens.

Are you familiar with the regulations governing the import of
US-origin defense articles, including restrictions on
re-transfer or re-export?

Answer: Yes, the company is familiar with the regulations.
Thai authorities also prohibit the transfer or re-export of
those products out of Thailand.

5. (U) Thanin presented copies of:
1) A permit for gun sales issued to Wanmelarp by the
Department of Provincial Administration at the Ministry of
Interior, No. 156/2550, valid August 27, 2007 - August 26,

2008. Permit signed by Nirawat Punnakan not Boonsom
Watanapanee as stated Reftel.

2) A permit for gun imports issued to Wanmelaro the by
Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of
Interior, No. 981/2550 (not 891/2550 as stated in the Cable),
valid September 19, 2007 - September 18, 2008. Permit signed
by Nirawat Punnakan not Boonsom Watanapanee as stated Reftel.

3) A purchase order No. CRS-i88/07 (not CRS-188/077 as stated
Reftel), dated October 16, 2007, signed by Ms. Suwanna
Laohapiengsak, to RSR Group, Inc. The order was for 15
Beretta 92F5 pistols.
JOHN

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