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Security officials in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) are investigating a huge cache of assault rifles which went missing since 2013-2014 from the armory of a local territorial defense volunteer corps under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior.
Suspicions are that high ranking government officials are involved in the matter.
Prapas Raksasap, the assistant governor of Nakhon Ratchasima province, has confirmed that a number M16 assault rifles under the care of the 1st Nakhon Ratchasima territorial defense volunteer corps have gone missing.
In all, more than 80 of the assault rifles are unaccounted for and as of the present orders have been issued to all defense volunteers in 32 districts to report their weapons so that an accurate tally can be made.
Preliminary inquiries indicate that the weapons went missing between 2013 – 2014 and there are strong indications that senior government officials under the Local Administration Department at both provincial and central levels were involved.
Meanwhile Goveror Thongchai Lue-adul said that the incident occurred before he took office and he has ordered that an immediate investigation to be carried out.
A complaint has been filed with the police and the 3rd Region Police have been given the responsibility for carrying out the official investigation.
Tracking down the weapons has been given the highest priority and anyone found to be involved with the loss will face criminal charges and disciplinary action, he said.