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Thai ‘gunrunner’ Willy Naru who ‘gave arms’ to N-E rebels set to be extradited to India

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  1. SR-91

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    Securing Naru’s custody would be a significant breakthrough for the NIA as his interrogation would help establish the chain of Chinese arms supply to North-East insurgent groups.

    In a major catch for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Thai national and gunrunner Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich alias Willy Naru, accused of brokering arms deals between insurgents in the North-East and Chinese suppliers, could be extradited to India from Thailand over the next couple of days.

    Securing Naru’s custody would be a significant breakthrough for the NIA as his interrogation would help establish the chain of Chinese arms supply to North-East insurgent groups.

    Government sources told The Indian Expressthat an appellate court in Thailand recently delivered its final verdict, turning down an appeal filed by Naru against his extradition. “Typically, it is quite difficult to secure extradition of a foreign national. Naru’s extradition would be a major catch for an Indian agency,” the source said.

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    India had secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Naru, 58, after Naga outfit NSCN-IM’s self-styled major general and commander Anthony Shimray, who was arrested in Patna in October 2010, alleged he had paid Naru for a large arms consignment. Based on this RCN, Naru, who ran a spa in Bangkok, was arrested by Thai authorities in August 2013.

    On December 18, 2010, the NIA had registered a case “on the basis of credible information that NSCN-IM had made attempts to purchase huge quantity of arms and ammunition from abroad since the beginning of 2008 onwards to wage war against the country and carry out terrorist activities”.

    On March 26, 2011, it filed a chargesheet against Shimray, T R Calvin, Hangshi Ramson Tangkhul and Naru. On March 31 last year, a Bangkok court ordered his extradition to India, and also allowed him 30 days’ time to file an appeal against the order, which he did before the appellate court.

    According to the NIA chargesheet, NSCN-IM regularly procures arms in bulk from China, “mostly from the Chinese Arms Company NORINCO (North China Industries Company)”. In 2007, Azetho Sumi, one of the top leaders of the NSCN-IM, allegedly deserted the outfit and joined NSCN-K with 70-80 weapons. Due to this, the NSCN-IM ran short of weapons, and Tangkul, the self-styled defence minister of the outfit, discussed the issue with the group’s leadership in New Delhi, NIA said.

    Shimray allegedly told Naru that he “wanted to procure 1,000 pieces of arms, including AK series automatic rifles, light machine guns, pistols, rocket-propelled grenades, rocket launchers and five lakh rounds of ammunition, and gave him the list of weapons required”, says the NIA chargesheet.

    A deal was allegedly fixed for US $1.2 million for 600 AK series assault rifles and 200 other weapons, including 9mm sub-machine guns, light machine guns, pistols and one lakh rounds of ammunition.

    Beihei Port in South China near Vietnam was going to be the loading port while the delivery would be made at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

    In September 2010, since the “ground situation in Bangladesh was not favourable to NSCN-IM”, it was decided to postpone the deal. Before his arrest, however, Shimray had allegedly paid Naru US $800,000.