Two 'PDRC guard' SEALs probed

Two officers of the Naval Special Warfare Command, or Navy SEALs, are facing a disciplinary investigation for working as hired bodyguards for anti-government protesters.

Petty Officer 1st Class Sompong Tannark and Petty Officer 1st Class Preecha Moonpuak, both aged 34, were arrested for carrying weapons at a police checkpoint on Taksin Road in Bangkok’s Thon Buri district on Wednesday afternoon.  

Police said PO1 Sompong was carrying a 9mm Glock on his waist while PO1 Preecha had a disassembled pistol of the same type in his shoulder bag. Police also found in their posession two People's Democratic Reform Committee security guard cards, five magazines and almost 40 9mm rounds.

The two officers were taken to Bukkhalo Police Station for questioning. Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy chief Thitirat Nongharnpitak, who led the three-hour inquiry, said the navy personnel allegedly confessed to being hired to provide security for PDRC key leaders at the Lumpini rally site.   

Navy secretary Rear Adm Kan Dee-ubon confirmed PO1 Sompong and PO1 Preecha were members of the Naval Special Warfare Command, Royal Thai Fleet, but were currently assigned to assist with work at the Royal Thai Marine Task Force in the southern province of Narathiwat. 

They were arrested while returning from Narathiwat. 

Rear Adm Kan said navy chief Adm Narong Pipattanasai had ordered the Royal Thai Marine Task Force to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the officers’ involvement with the PDRC. 

If found guilty, Rear Adm Kan said, they could face maximum disciplinary punishment which is dismissal from service.

The navy chief last month urged all navy personnel to remain politically neutral and ordered those who were not involved in dealing with the anti-government protests to refrain from commenting on the matter, saying the sensitivity of the situation could affect the image of the Royal Thai Navy.

A source at the navy said Adm Narong had instructed that all SEALs return to their bases and stay away from the PDRC political rally as well as ordering Navy SEALs commander Adm Winai Klom-in to stop giving comments over the protest-related violence. 

Pol Maj Gen Thitirat said the guns found in possession of PO1 Sompong and PO1 Preecha belonged to the navy but since the emergency decree was imposed in Bangkok, police had charged them with carrying weapons and ammunition in public without a good reason. 

Rear Adm Kan said the navy would let the police proceed with the charges of illegal carrying of weapons against the two officers, adding they would not be protected.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 27/02/2014 at 11:20 AM
If Suthep and the PDRC has been hiring these guys,,,, it is most likely that they are hiring the so-called "'third-hand"' as well, that is creating all these inhumane attacks.
Discussion 2 : 27/02/2014 at 11:11 AM
'The navy chief last month urged all navy personnel to remain politically neutral and ordered those who were not involved in dealing with the anti-government protests to refrain from commenting on the matter,... saying the sensitivity of the situation could affect the image of the Royal Thai Navy.' I think this is close to the heart of things - 'shut up and stop us losing face'.
Discussion 3 : 27/02/2014 at 09:18 AM
It is interesting that the red brethren immediately take armed security guards and turn it around to claim proof the PDRC are violent armed people. I would be willing to bet that the bodyguards for Thaksin and those for his family here in Thailand are also armed and probably well trained militia, so can I assume that means the Shinawatras are also an armed violent group?
Discussion 4 : 27/02/2014 at 08:12 AM
I was walked inside PRDC protesters 3 days ago, there few children sitting in front stage accompanying with parents as well. Seem this children are being used as propaganda by PRDC, if not why children are there?
Discussion 5 : 27/02/2014 at 07:38 AM
We do not know who hired them.
Discussion 6 : 27/02/2014 at 06:50 AM
"police had charged them with carrying weapons and ammunition in public without a good reason. " Without good reason. Protest sites get attacked with bombs and shootings, people including kids who have nothing to do with the protests are killed. What would the police define to be a good reason for a security guard (justified or not, correctly recrtuited or not) to wear a gun? While all the police wear a gun - and don't provide any security to anybody.
Discussion 7 : 27/02/2014 at 05:51 AM
The rule of law seems to have been followed in this case. That is a great step forward. And yes, the head of the Navy Seals should keep his nose and mouth out of politics. He can run for office when he retires like everyone else high ranking in the military does.
Discussion 8 : 27/02/2014 at 02:08 AM
So much for Suthep's unarmed protest movement. And Navy Seals no less. There seems to be a surprising amount of Navy personnel being linked to the anti-Govt protests recently. So let me get this clear. Suthep is employing armed members of the military, who are paid by the Govt, to help him remove the Govt. from power. The circle of life in Thailand.
Discussion 9 : 26/02/2014 at 11:47 PM
What a great victory, 2 PRDC guards arrested and all red gunman and bomb fighters are all still walking around as free man!

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