The 5 men were reportedly arrested in Rayong province on 24 February. The police also
confiscated 7 handguns the men were carrying at the time of their arrest.
Police officers in Rayong province have
refused to talk on the record with our correspondent about the case so far, but rumours soon
surfaced that the suspects were Navy SEALs team on a mission to kidnap Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra as threatened by anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.
Rear Admiral Karn Dee-Ubon, spokesman of
the Royal Thai Navy, later denied the allegation.
He admitted that 3 of the 5 suspects were ex-servicemen of the navy,
but RADM Karn added that they have left the service "long ago" and have been working as security
guards for Suvarnabhumi Airport. Two other suspects are civilians, the spokesman
Nevertheless, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy has acknowledged the incident
and ordered an investigation into the allegation, said RADM Karn.
"Let me stress that all Navy servicemen
... are neutral and not involved in politics," the spokesman said in an interview.
Royal Thai Navy had been previously accused of having a hand in political violence in Bangkok when a
group of Navy officers were arrestedlast
month with firearms and ammunition at a checkpoint in Bangkok, along with ID cards for
anti-government protest security guards.
The navy eventually denied the allegation and claimed that the suspects were
undercover navy agents on a mission to track down narcotics dealers.
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