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Bo Mya’s son denies involvement in arms smuggling allegation

The Karen National Union (KNU) has denied allegation by a suspect in the arms smuggling last week in Trat province that it bought arms and ammunition from the arms smuggling gang.

The strong denial came from Maj Gen Nerdah Bo Mya, head of the Karen National Defence Organization, the army of the KNU after Thai authorities arrested an Air Force officer last week after a huge cache of firearms and ammunitions was found in a pickup truck which crashed into roadside ditch during a rainstorm.

Another Cambodian man who claimed to be a customs official also arrived to help the Thai Air Force man after he was alerted of the accident by him.

Both were detained for questioning. The Air Force officer later confessed to arms smuggling and said he had smuggled arms to sell to Burmese rebel groups, including the KNU.

He said he received the arms cache from the Cambodian to deliver it to the rebel group in Mae Sot district of Tak province.

The Cambodian man was also linked to a Cambodian general by local media.

Yesterday, Maj Gen Nerdah Bo Mya, son of KNU chairman Gen Saw Bo Mya, denied buying arms from the smuggling gang, saying the KNU has sufficient arms and has no need whatsoever to buy more from Thailand.

He cited reason not to procure more arms that the KNU, the largest resistance group, had reached a ceasefire and peace agreement with the Myanmar government so as to get independence from Myanmar.

Therefore the KNU has no need to buy more weapon, he said.

But he admitted that arms smuggling along the border has long existed and remains active today.

However he had no idea which group still wants the weapon.

Meanwhile one active rebel general told Thai PBS that arms and ammunition are considered a must to strengthen rebel forces.

Although some rebel groups have reached ceasefire and peace agreements with Myanmar, they remain untrusted of the Myanmar and it's military, citing recent breaches of the Pang Luang agreement with a rebel group.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)