Narinjara News

Dhaka, March 3

 

Chittagong arms cache shipped from Hong Kong via Singapore

 

According to a recent report of Jane's Intelligence Review (JIR), a leading

world magazine, an arms cache seized last year in Chittagong seaport was

shipped from Hong Kong, where more weapons were added to the collection , then

shipped on to Singapore before being brought to Bangladesh.

 

The JIR report said the shipment involved two key insurgent groups from

northeast India; the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) the Nationalist

Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), the Isak Muivah Faction.

 

The Bangladesh police first believed that the consignment was moved overland

from Southwestern China to the port of Akyab, also known as Sittwe, the

capital of Arakan state, on Burma's Arakan coast on the Bay of Bengal.

 

The police assumed that the arms and ammunitions were carried by two fishing

boats from the Akyab jetty to Bangladeshi water, where the arms were unloaded

to another two Bangladeshi fishing boats.

 

However, according to JIR sources, the original idea was to transport the arms

and ammunitions to Northeastern India via a route across northern Burma's

Kachin state. That idea was eventually shelved owing to security concerns over

moving such a large shipment across territory where local Kachins are seen as

pro-India.

 

It was discovered that the consignment originated from the port of Hong Kong,

and at that point only involved new Chinese weaponry. From Hong Kong, the main

consignment was shipped to Singapore where more none-Chinese weapons were

added and the shipment was then moved to the Chittagong seaport, said JIRís

report.

 

According to Bangladeshi press, the shipment included both Israeli and US

manufactured weapons but it remains unclear whether additional ammunitions

were also added to the shipment in Singapore.

 

The shipment was then transported north through the Strait of Malacca to be

transferred in the Bay of Bengal to two trawlers, the Kazaddan and Amanat,

that then ferried the weapons to a jetty of the Chittagong port.

 

According to sources, the seizure of ammunitions by the Bangladeshi authority

are worth an estimated US $4.5 million to $7 million, and is known to have

included around 20,000 automatic and semi automatic rifles; among them 1290

type 56-1 and type 56-2 Kalashnikov assault rifles; 150 T-69 rocket propelled

grenade (RPG) launchers; quantities of 40mm RPG ammunitions, 25,00 hand

grenades and 1.8 million other small arms and ammunitions.

 

The weapons were seized in 9 truckloads, by Bangladeshi police, in a port of

Chittagong in the early hours of 2 April last year. The cache was one of South

Asia's largest ever seizures of illicit weaponry. #

 

(Note: some facts in this story were asserted from Weapons loaded at HK, a

longer report of the Daily star on 28 Feb.)

 

 

For further information, please contact Narinjara:

Phone: 880 189 42 55 36, 880 111 39 38 6 (Mobile)

E-mail: narinjar@aitlbd.net / narinjara@narinjaranews.com

 

(Post address)

POBOX 2416, GPO

Dhaka 1000

Bangladesh

 

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