Friday, January 11, 2008

Seven police on spying charges

Seven police on spying charges

Seven police officers were arrested yesterday on espionage charges for allegedly supplying intelligence information - together with three military officers arrested earlier - to militants in the deep South.

Published on January 8, 2008

The seven officers were detained for questioning in a military compound in Pattani.

Authorities believe there might be other higher-ranking officers involved in the case, according to Police Colonel Phumphet Piphat-phetphum, Yala's Muang district police chief.

Previously authorities had detained and interrogated Lt-Colonel Adul Alatae, a member of the Fourth Army Region's Intelligence De-partment, Command Sergeant Major Sulaiman Suanil and a civilian, Aran Sriprachon.

It was claimed that the seven police officers had spied on military operations and supplied intelligence to militants.

Officials had closely monitored the movements of these officers for some time after a detained militant said he got a tip-off about military operations from senior officials in the Army.

Information about military operations since 2004 was found in computers belonging to the head of a militant cell, Phumphet said.

Lt-Colonel Adul and Sergeant Sulaiman have wide connections among police and civilian officials in the deep South, and most of those contacts are Muslim officials, he added.

Since the beginning of 2004 violence in the predominantly Muslim region has killed more than 2,700 people.

The authorities have failed to contain the insurgency as they do not know about the movements of the militants, who seem to know much about the movement of security officials. Militants have successfully attacked and ambushed military and police units on many occasions, while officials have been unable to prevent or bring an end to the cycle of violence.

In a typical incident, a roti vendor was seriously injured in a gun attack in front of a school in Yala's Muang district at lunchtime yesterday. One of two men on a motorbike fired at Ong-art Bounsri, 28, three times before riding away.

The Nation

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