The Royal Thai Navy is taking action after reports of missing ammunition surfaced. On July 15, 2023, Admiral Karnjan Monthat Phlin, spokesperson for the Royal Thai Navy, addressed the situation in response to news shared on the CSILA page regarding leaked naval documents and the loss of tens of thousands of M855 and M856 machine gun ammunition, as well as thousands of 40mm detonated ammunition from the Marine Corps in Sattahip.
According to the Navy spokesperson, the incident took place on July 5, 2023, when the Navy received a report from the Marine Corps Command about a deficit in the inventory of the Naval Ordnance Department’s warehouse at the 1st Infantry Regiment, Marine Corps (Rama 1 Regiment, General), Phra Maha Jesadarajchao Camp. A detailed investigation is currently underway to determine the extent of the missing items.
Upon acknowledgment from the Marine Corps Command, CCTV footage was examined, and the guards were questioned. It was discovered that the theft was carried out by personnel from the ordnance depot who repeatedly accessed the depot using a backup secret key. These individuals have been absent from official service and cannot be contacted since July 6, 2023.
Based on the guards’ testimonies, it was determined that they were not involved in the incident and had been performing their duties as usual. The unit has reported the incident and provided the daily record as evidence to the Plutaluang Police Station in Sattahip District, Chonburi Province on July 7, 2023. The Navy is working jointly with the police to gather evidence and take legal action, as well as conducting investigations to track down the suspects and recover the lost ammunition.
Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengphaet, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, has ordered the establishment of a committee to investigate the missing items from the weapons depot. He emphasized the importance of imposing the maximum punishment on those responsible. The committee will thoroughly examine the facts and investigate any violations to ensure that the offenders face appropriate consequences.
Admiral Pruang emphasized that he was not involved in the case and cautioned against presenting information that may impact international relations or create misunderstandings among the public. He urged careful consideration and accuracy when discussing such matters.