Cache of LTTE explosives seized in Thailand

Police yesterday seized a cache of explosives believed to be destined for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel group in Sri Lanka.

The munitions found in a large wooden crate hidden in a vacant land plot near Klong Khua Khiew included TNT and C-4 explosives, M-79, M46 and M67 grenades, detonators and equipment, police said.

No suspects were arrested.

Pol Col Lertsak Vittayapan, superintendent of the Pak Nam police station in Muang district, said the explosives would be examined to determine their origins.

The officer said the explosives could have come from rebels operating along the Thai-Burmese border or could have been smuggled into the country from Cambodia.

A police source yesterday said arms smuggling was rife in Ranong, especially in the Andaman Sea. Most of smuggled weapons were destined for Tamil Tiger guerrillas in Sri Lanka, the source said.

A pirate gang, led by a man known only "Kala" and operating in the waters between Phangnga and Ranong, was believed to be engaged in the arms smuggling business in the Andaman, the source said.