icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
22 Dec, 2009 07:09

No relation between “Merchant of Death” and Thai arms seizure

Thai police say there is no relation between a plane carrying weapons that was seized in Bangkok earlier this month and the Russian businessman Viktor Bout.

“Police failed to find any link between the Russian citizen and the Il-76 plane with arms onboard flying from North Korea,” stated a spokesman for Thai authorities on Tuesday.

Bout is fighting a US extradition request from the Thai capital where he faces illegal arms charges.

Earlier reports had suggested that the plane owned by a Georgina air carrier and containing 30 tons of rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles was aimed at influencing the case of Bout's extradition.

In a violation of a UN Resolution banning arms deals with Pyongyang, the plane was seized en route from North Korea to Ukraine and was heading to Tehran.

It was detained in Bangkok on December 12. Five crew members have been charged with the illegal possession of weapons and arms trafficking.

The plane crew completely denies the allegations and said all members were in a Pyongyang hotel while the plane was being loaded.