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Myanmarese arms smugglers arrested in Meghalaya, NIA probe
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUNE 19 (NPN):
Published on 19 Jun. 2011 10:36 PM IST
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Three members of an arms Myanmarese smuggling racket were arrested in Meghalaya with huge cache of arms, police said Sunday.
“Acting on a tip-off, we arrested three persons late last night and seized eight AK-56 rifles and eight magazines from a vehicle at Lad Umroi area,” Claudia A Lyngwa, the district police chief of Ri-Bhoi, said.
Lad Umroi area, about 15 Km north of Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya is located at the tri-junction of the national highway 40.
The arrested smugglers identified as Lalchawisanga Zahau (45), C.L.Hlira (47) and Lallawmzuala (34), were travelling with the weapons from Piau village in Mizoram’s Champhai district bordering Myanmar.
The trio belongs to the Chin ethnicity of Myanmar. Mizoram shares 404 km with Myanmar. “The weapons were hidden in a secret compartment under the seats of a gypsy which the trios were travelling from Mizoram, believed to be meant for outlawed ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom),” Lyngwa said.
She however said that interrogation and efforts are on to find out the actual suppliers and their links with the rebel groups operating in the North Eastern states.
Meanwhile a five-member National Investigative Agency (NIA) led from Assam led by its deputy superintendent, Devinder Singh Sunday quizzed the three Myanmarese arms smuggling gang. The NIA sleuths grilled Lalchawisanga Zahau, one of the king pin in the arms racket, for several hours.
“We have started with our interrogation. The weapons were brought inside India from outside,” Anil Kumar, an NIA official told journalists.
“We are trying out who the supplier was and to whom it was meant to be supplied to,” Kumar said, while refusing to divulged further details.
Meanwhile, a local court remanded 14 day’s police custody to the Meghalaya police to grill the three arrested arms smugglers. “Meghalaya police needs to interrogate them (arms smugglers) as Shillong has become a rendezvous point for arms transactions with northeast rebels,” Lyngwa said.
Meanwhile, a team of police officials from Assam and Mizoram would interrogate the trios.
In fact, an intelligence agency had alerted the Meghalaya Police of former ‘captain’ of Chin National Army (CNA), Tialkulhtang, of smuggling arms and ammunition from Mandalay in Myanmar.
‘Tialkulhtang, a known arms smuggler, is in the process of smuggling consignment of arms and ammunition meant for some rebel groups operating in the region,’ an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.
The porous international borders, thick with forests, along the northeastern states of Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura have been used by the illegal weapons syndicate to smuggle small and medium arms and ammunition, besides explosives, to northeastern militant groups.

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