NEW DELHI: India has secured extradition of a Thai gun runner Willy Naru who was brought here today from Bangkok and arrested by NIA for allegedly supplying arms to insurgent groups in Northeast.
After months of legal battle in Thailand, decks were cleared for his extradition after the Appellate Court in Bangkok rejected his petition in November this year in which he had challenged a decision of a lower court ordering his extradition. NIA said in a statement here that the custody of Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich alias Willy Naru was handed over to the Chief Investigating Officer of case yesterday by Thailand. He was brought to New Delhi and was arrested.
His questioning is expected to throw more light on the suspected role of a Chinese arms manufacturer, believed to have been supplying arms to northeast insurgent groups, including Naga groups and ULFA, official sources said. They said most of the arms like AK series rifles, Universal Machine Guns and M20 pistol used by the insurgent groups are Chinese-made and believed to have been manufactured by China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO).
NORINCO is a large amrs group and NIA suspects that the company's arms and ammunition come to the northeast through the Thai gun running rackets, the sources said. India had secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Willy after NSCN-IM leader Anthony Shimray, arrested in Nepal in 2007, alleged that he had paid the Thai man for an arms consignment which included AK-series rifles.
This NIA case relates to a criminal conspiracy for illegal procurement of a shipload of sophisticated arms and ammunition from a foreign country, in which Shimray was arrested by NIA. Shimray had negotiated several times with Willy to fix a deal to the tune of USD 1.2 million to procure huge quantity of arms and ammunition. For this deal, USD 800,000 was paid by accused Shimray to co-accused Willy.
NIA had filed a charge sheet in this case on March 26, 2011 against four accused persons including Shimray, who is currently facing trial.