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

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBK #0803/01 0731000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131000Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2246
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BANGKOK 000803

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PM/DTCC 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 05-050082129

REF: STATE 13086

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

Registration No. 0103499000805
Registered Date: May 10 1956
Status: Limited Partnership
Name: Manittyont Ltd, Part.
Capital Registration: 3,000,000 baht
Business partners: Kritsana Chittangwong, Sanit Chittangwong,
and Sitthiphon Chittangwong. Each with an investment of
1,000,000 baht
Managers: Kritsana and Sanit Chittangwong without limitation
of authority.
Location: 187 Phetkasem Rd., Wat Thaphra Sub-District,
Bangkok Yai District, Bangkok.
The business has submitted annual financial reports during
1999-2006.
Purpose of Company: Wholesale and retail sale of guns and
ammunition.

2. (U) Manittyont Ltd., Part. is listed in the directory
under the same address and telephone number as stated in
reftel and in the commercial registration.

3. (U) POL FSN made an unannounced visit to the company at
the address listed in the cable and met Kritsana
Chittangwong, one of the shop's partners. The company is
located in an older, two-story building. The building was
not typical of gun shops in Bangkok. No gun were displayed.
Kritsana declined to answer specific questions about the
business and suggested that POL FSN direct inquiries to Sanit
Chittangwong, who supervises the business. POL FSN met with
Sanit separately.

4. (U) Additional questions per Reftel:

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

Answer: About thirty to forty years. Originally, the
business was a gas station and garage run by Sanit's parents;
the business later transformed to gun sales. Sanit confirmed
the purchase and the import of this lot of guns. Guns were
stored at that house inside a large iron safe

What services and products are sold by your company?

Answer: Aside from guns, the shop also sells gun accessories
and ammunition. It also repairs and maintains guns.

Who are your regular customers? Where do they reside?

Answer: The general public and law enforcement personnel who
reside throughout Thailand. Civil servants in Bangkok are
allowed to buy guns via the Ministry of Interior's (MOI)
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. A non-Thai cannot purchase a gun unless granted a
permit by the MOI. Most customers know the shop through
other customers. Customers must make an appointment in
advance to buy guns. For the twelve pistols in reftel, ten
will be sold to the public and two would be imported on
behalf of two cadets at the police academy. Sanit said
police cadets are permitted to import guns for their own use.
Annual total imports under this program was approximately
two hundred pistols. Manittyont received orders to import
fifty pistols in 2006 and seventeen pistols in 2007 on behalf
of cadets.

What were your total firearms sales in 2007?

Answer: Manittyont possesses five gun licenses. Each
license, per Thai regulations, allows the importation of
fifty rifles and thirty pistols per year. The licenses are
under the names of Manittyont, Issara, Or. Charoen, So.
Kritsanaphon, and Kritsana Chittangwong. The primary
business, Manittyont, purchases and imports guns on behalf of
the other four licensees. Total sales in 2007 for all
licensees was approximately 5 million baht, or $160,000 in
current excange rate. Sales for Manittyont were
approximately 1 - 2 million baht.

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

Answer: Sanit said that he knows US regulations. He said
that this is compulsory knowledge for all gun shops since
Thai laws requires this as well.

5. (U) Sanit provided copies of:

1) Permits for gun imports issued to Manittyont.
-- Import Permit No. PK 972, dated 09/18/2007, dated 2550 not
2500 as stated reftel, allowing Manittyont to import 10 STI
pistols.
-- Import Permit No. 137, dated 11/16/2007, dated 2550 not
2500, as stated reftel, allowing Manittyont to import 1 STI
pistol on behalf of Police Cadet Atsadawut Khwangmuang.
-- Import Permit No. 138, dated 11/16/2007, dated 2550 not
2500, as stated reftel, allowing Manittyont to import 1 STI
pistol on behalf of Police Cadet Ekkaphop Tangwattanakan.

2) Purchase Order No. 50105, dated 12/04/2007, from
Manittyont, to the STI International, Inc., to buy 12 STI
pistols.
JOHN

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