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05BANGKOK3045 BLUE LATERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON APPLICATION 05-955010

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BANGKOK 003045

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR PM/DTCC (JSTITZIEL)

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ETTC KOMC TH BLUE LANTERN

SUBJECT: BLUE LATERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON

APPLICATION 05-955010

 

REF: STATE 68288

 

¶1. Pol FSN made inquiries to establish the bona fides of

Olympic Arm & Ammunition Co. as requested in reftel.

According to the Department of Business Development of the

Thai Commerce Ministry, Olympic Arm and Ammunition (Thailand)

Co., Ltd. has a three person executive committee made up of

Mr. Charan Chawala, Mr. Witsanu Chamala and Mr. Anuchit

Kanphakdi, all Thai nationals. The company changed its name

from “the Golden Arm Co., Ltd” on August 17, 1999. It is

capitalized at 32 million baht (aprox. 820,000 USD).

 

¶2. An inquiry with Col Chanachit Charoen-nuang of the

Defense Permanent Secretary Office, Ministry of Defense,

confirmed that the company is recognized under Thai law and

has valid permits to operate factories to manufacture

ammunition in Thailand. The company also is permitted to

manufacture Austrian Glock and Italian Beretta automatic

pistols under license. Thai clients of the company include

the Royal Thai Army, National Police, and state-owned firing

ranges nation-wide. The Ministry of Defense has two military

officials (one officer and one NCO) posted at the factory

around the clock to monitor production.

 

¶3. According to Colonel Phunsi Ratsami, Director of the

Industry Control Division of the Royal Thai Defense Industry

Department — the Thai government agency tasked with

overseeing defense contractors — Olympic is certified under

Thai law to manufacture 9 mm, .38 cal., and .45 cal

ammunition.

 

¶4. Pol FSN visited Olympic’s manufacturing facility in

Nakhon Sawan, approximately 240 kilometers north of Bangkok,

on May 3. He noted it was in a controlled access location

and had unarmed civilian guards checking all vehicles and

persons trying to enter the compound. While there, he met

with Mr. Charan Chawla, Managing Director of the Company, who

explained his company’s former relationship with the Greek

firm, Olympic Arms and Ammunition, Co., Ltd (same name as the

Thai firm).

 

¶5. According to Mr. Charan, in 1999, he approached Mr.Vasili

Papadupolos, the Greek National Owner of Greece’s Olympic

Arms and Ammunition Co., Ltd, through Charon’s company

“Golden Arm Co., Ltd,” and invited Papadupolos to buy shares

in his Thai company in exchange for Papadupolos’s technology

and ammunition manufacturing know-how. Papadupolos agreed,

and promised to buy 615,000 out of 1,250,000 shares in

Charan’s company. Charan agreed to change the name of the

Thai company to Olympic Arm and Ammunition (Thailand) Co.,

Ltd. Charan said this agreement was oral only. After Charan

changed his company’s name, Papadupolos changed his mind and

decided not to pay for his shares in the new venture. Charan

had already changed his company’s name and decided to remain

in business as Olympic. Charan claims that Papadupolos still

technically holds one token share in his company. He

suggested that it would be too cumbersome under Thai law to

remove Papadupolos’s small stake in Olympic Thailand. Since

Papadupolos’s withdrawal from the venture, Charon claimed to

have never been in contact with the Greek again. Charan

recently learned of Papadupolos’s arrest in Italy. Plans to

change the name of the company are underway and are expected

to be completed by June this year.

 

¶6. Pol FSN learned that Olympic Thailand has no foreign

subsidiaries and that all of its 50 plus employees are Thai

nationals. Employees must undergo fingerprint checks each

day to verify their identity. The production line operates

from 0800-1700 on weekdays. In addition to the contracts

mentioned in para 2 above, the Thai Department of Special

Investigation of the Ministry of Justice and the Narcotics

Control Board of the Prime Minister’s office have recently

approached Olympic about possible contracts. The company is

not allowed to sell its products in the private sector except

at one facility in Pattaya Thailand. Bullets produced by the

company are marketed to firing ranges under the “Hunter”

brand name and to state agencies under the “Olympic” label.

Charan told our FSN that he has been a weapons dealer for 30

years and is also Managing Director of the Royal Defence Co.,

Ltd. He stated that he has had previous business relations

with Lockheed Martin and US ATK Corporations. The compound

where Olympic is located also has a factory making Glock

pistols under license, owned by Kamonrat Commercial Co., Ltd,

of which Charan is President.

 

¶7. Sales records are maintained electronically and in hard

copy. Pol FSN took digital photos of the facility. Those

photos can be sent to the Department upon request. Please

send requests to Embassy PolMil Officer Mark Lambert.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:05 am

Posted in Military, Unclassified

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