Two Thais held in Malaysia on weapons trading charges

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BANGKOK, Sept 10 – Thailand is leaving it to the Malaysian authorities to handle the case of two Thai men who were arrested in Kedah State with a big arms cache, a senior Thai security official said today.

Paradorn Pattanatabut, secretary general of the National Security Council (NSC), said Malaysian authorities were coordinating with the Thai Special Branch Division to investigate the case.

The two Thai nationals, identified as violence,Mohamad bin Mat Daud and Jamanan bin Ahmad, were reportedly from Thailand’s southernmost province of Yala. They were nabbed at a restaurant in Kedah.

He said the suspects were involved in certain violent incidents in Thailand’s far South, but that the Thai authorities would not interfere in Malaysia’s investigation in the case.

A preliminary investigation found that the two Muslim Thai nationals were members of a small militant group and authorities initially suspected that they were involved in arms trading and violence in southern Thailand, said Lt Gen Paradorn.

Regarding the five-point demand to Thailand by militant group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the NSC chief said the Thai security delegation received the more than 30-page demands via Malaysian facilitator and would discuss the issue in the meeting of the Centre to Mobilise Policy and Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern Border Provinces on Friday.

Thailand insists that their demands must be in line with the Thai constitution, he said, adding that the next round of peace talks with BRN representatives is tentatively scheduled for next month.