Kazakhstan vows to help crew of arms cargo plane in Thailand

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The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has pledged to do everything possible to assist four of its citizens who were part of a crew of an arms-laden airplane seized in Bangkok in mid-December.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has pledged to do everything possible to assist four of its citizens who were part of a crew of an arms-laden airplane seized in Bangkok in mid-December.

An Il-76 cargo plane carrying 35 tons of weaponry was seized during refueling at Bangkok's Don Muang airport on December 12. The plane's five crew - four Kazakhs and one Belarusian - were arrested and taken to Bangkok's Klong Prem Central Prison.

"The Kazakh diplomatic mission is currently holding constant consultations with the detained pilots' lawyer in order to provide for an effective line of defense at all stages of the case," ministry spokesman Askar Abdrakhmanov said.

The crew, which has been refused bail by a Thai judge, is charged with transporting weapons without permission, illegally taking them to Thailand, and failing to inform officials of the cargo.

"The diplomatic mission will continue doing everything possible to protect the rights and legal interests of the detained citizens of Kazakhstan," Abdrakhimov said.

Thai officials have said the weapons shipment, which was being flown from North Korea to an unknown destination, included portable anti-aircraft missile systems and spare parts for ground-to-air missiles.

ASTANA, January 13 (RIA Novosti)

 

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