April 1, 2011 12:25:36 am
In the first-ever direct evidence linking Northeast insurgent groups to China,the National Investigation Agency,which is probing the NSCN (IM) case,has found that the outfit had struck deals with several Chinese firms to procure sophisticated arms and ammunition to wage war against India.
The NIA arrested Anthony Shimray,the Naga insurgent outfits chief arms procurer,last year and investigations that followed revealed the role of foreign individuals and firms. After a six-month investigation,the NIA filed a chargesheet recently against Shimray and three others,including a foreign national,at a Delhi court.
The agency has detailed the money transactions,arms and ammunition procurements and conversation between the accused persons as part of its evidence.
Apart from Shimray,the other accused are T R Cavlin,Hangshi Ramson Tangkhul both from NSCN (IM) and Willy Naruenartwanich,an arms dealer of Thai-Chinese origin based in Bangkok. All three are wanted in the case.
According to NIA,Willy runs a spa business in Bangkok. He was introduced to Shimray by one of the middlemen. This person is now a key witness for the NIA and his statement has been recorded. According to the chargesheet,Shimray told Willy that he wanted to procure 1,000 firearms,including AK series automatic rifles,light machine guns,rocket launchers and 5 lakh rounds of ammunition.
The chargesheet says that Willy in 2007 introduced them to a Chinese firm TCL. They got in touch with Yuthna,who was a representative of TCL,an authorised company selling arms in China.
The deal was to be done at $2 million but after consultation with the NSCN (IM) leadership in New Delhi,TCL agreed to sell arms for $1 million. Shimray took the approval for the list of weapons from Cavlin,who was stationed at Dimapur. The communication was done through e-mail,which has been established by the NIA.
The cost for shipment was fixed at USD 200000 which was to be arranged by Willy. It was further decided that the arms and ammunition will be offloaded at Beihei Port of South China near Vietnam and the delivery would be at Coxs Bazar in the high sea of Bangladesh, states the chargesheet. From high sea,the goods would be shifted in smaller fishing trawlers. According to the chargesheet,Shimray paid $100,000 to Willy in May 2009 which was sent to TCL which issued an electronic receipt of this payment.
Investigation further revealed that Shimray received $800,000 in Bangkok from NSCN (IM) Bangkok office out of which $700,000 was paid to TCL through Willy while $100,000 was paid to shipping agent Kittichai of Intermarine Shipping Company of Bangkok.
However,agency claimed in the chargesheet that delivery of arms was postponed as in September 2010 Shimray realised that the situation in Bangladesh was not favourable to NSCN (IM). Shimray planned to visit New Delhi to brief his leaders about the development. He was caught by the Indian agencies near Patna.
The chargesheet also traces NSCN (IM) links to another Chinese arms supply company,NORINCO,from 1991 to 1999. Shimray was instrumental in striking a $1.1 million deal with NORINCO during this period.
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