The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has taken decisive action in response to allegations of theft of large quantities of ammunition from a naval base, relieving an officer, who held the rank of chief petty officer second class and was responsible for overseeing an arsenal at the Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri province.
The officer in question has been absent without leave since July 5, prompting the navy to move forward with his dismissal.
Navy Spokesman Adm Pokkrong Monthatphalin stated that the navy is taking the matter seriously and will promptly pursue disciplinary and criminal actions against the suspect. In an effort to bring the accused officer to justice, the navy will propose his dismissal to the Defence Ministry and request a warrant for his arrest from the military court. The RTN spokesperson, however, refrained from disclosing the officer’s identity.
During a search at the suspect’s residence on July 19, stolen cartridges were found, providing evidence that the officer had indeed stolen rounds of ammunition from the naval base. The missing ammunition includes tens of thousands of M855 and M856 bullets designed for 5.56mm rifles, along with thousands of 40mm grenade launcher rounds.
According to Adm Pokkrong, financial transactions related to the thefts indicate that the illicit activities had been ongoing for an extended period of time. The suspect has deliberately disconnected all communication devices, leading authorities to believe that he is hiding within the country.