[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Thai Spy Story

************************ Posted by BurmaNet **************************
     "Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"


[The following is a rough translation from an article in the Thai-language
newspaper, Naeo Na.]

NAEO NA (Bangkok) July 21, 1994

Naeo Na reported earlier that the Burmese government asked permission to add
five officers to its embassy in Bangkok.  The officers are Myint Oo, Tun
Khin, Thuang Kyi, Tun Thein and Saw Kyaw Lan San.  They are supposed to be
Burmese Foreign Ministry officials.  However, they are actually officials of
the Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI), which is the
Military Intelligence Department [of Burma], under Lt. Gen Khin Nyunt.  Both
the Thai Foreign Ministry and intelligence officials are of the opinion that
approving the request will allow Burma's military intelligence to expand its
capabilities [in Thailand] and that there is a shortage of Thai
counterintelligence officials to watch their activities.  The Thai National
Security Council (NSC) however wants the request approved.

On July 20, senior NSC officials met to discuss about Burmese intelligence
agents working under diplomatic cover.  NSC Deputy Secty-General Kachatphai
Buruphai declined to comment on the issue.

Naeo Na has information that a nongovernmental (NGO) official who has
contacts with a former Burmese military officer from the DDSI recently
sneaked across the Thai/Burma border and fled to another country.  The
defector was unhappy with Burma's government under which SLORC closely
controlled its people and prevented competent officials from advancing.  He
said that no one had any chance for promotion unless they belonged to the
same units as the SLORC leaders.  The defector worked for DDSI since 1972 and
in the 3 years before his defection, his responsibility was intelligence
gathered in Thailand.  This gave him access to information gathered by DDSI
agents in Thailand.

The defector told the NGO official that the center of Burma's intelligence
gathering is the office of the military attache [in Bangkok].    Formerly,
this was Col. Ba Hein and the current leader of Burma's spy network is Col.
Thein Swe who is the military attache picked by Lt.Gen Khin Nyunt himself. 
Col. Thein Swe replaced Ba Hein in 1992.

The defector said that Col. Thein Swe has been very successful and that he
has expanded the intelligence network in Thailand so much that it needs more
manpower.  Col. Thein Swe received a commendation from Rangoon and was
promoted to his current colonel's rank.

Col. Thein Swe is ambitious.  He was an air force officer and is trying to be
accepted by the DDSI which is run by the army.  Col. Thein Swe used to work
for Lt. Gen Khin Nyunt and this has enabled him to advance rapidly.  His
English is excellent and he used to work as a liaison officer to foreign
embassies in Rangoon.  This qualified him to be the military attache in
Thailand, a job that is usually held by an officer from the army.  Because of
this, he is disliked by other officers from the DDSI who are also close to
Khin Nyunt.

According to the source, the DDSI runs several agents, including Burmese,
Thais and people from the ethnic minorities.  After Col Thein Swe came to
Thailand, Burma's military intelligence acquired a Thai spy who has provided
Burma with good information.  The spy, code named Victor, is highly valued by
the Burmese.

The source said that reports from Col. Thein Swe showed that Victor had
access to Thai official secrets, both civilian and military.  Victor's
identity is unknown but he is thought to be a senior Thai official,
politician or advisor to a senior government official.  The defector said
that Col. Thein Swe promised Victor a large financial reward from Burma's oil
and fishery revenues.

Meanwhile, Mon Information officials held a press conference at the Viang Tai
Hotel.  A member of the Mon Coordination Committee in Thailand, Kitti
Worakunkitti,  said that his group accepts negotiation between Mons living
along the Thai/Burma border and Burma's government, but wants the
negotiations held in a neutral country, like Thailand.  The participants
should have equal status and the mediator should be neutral.  He alleged that
in the past, the mediator has exploited the Mons.

Kitti said that "The mediator was Thai, possibly working for the National
Security Council and close to NSC Chief, Gen. Charan Kullawanich.  He uses
government equipment such as helicopters to pick up Mon leaders for
negotiations.  The mediator persuaded the Mon leaders to make an agreement
with the Burmese government to benefit the mediator's work for a company that
is involved with the natural gas pipeline in Burma.  This whole operation was
supported by the Burmese government.  I have a photo of the mediator and the
Burmese military attache meeting with the Mon leaders in the jungle.  He was
trying to make the Mons negotiate.

Kitti said that the NSC normally worked for peace in the region but that
there were selfish motives for applying pressure on that occasion.  

Kitti said that the Mon sources told him that the dictatorial Burmese regime
has built an army of 300,000 troops and bought 25 billion baht ($1billion US)
worth of Chinese weapons.  He claimed that all of this was bad for the
Burmese as well as the Thai people.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Prasong Soonsiri said that the report about
Burma's spying is nonsense and without foundation.  He said that even if it
were true, he could not talk about it publicly because it would be a state
secret and could affect relations with Burma.  Foreign Ministry spokesman
Suwit Simasaun said that the report [about Burma's spies] puzzles him.


This article is distributed via the reg.burma mailing list.  To subscribe to
the mailing list, send a note to that effect to strider@xxxxxxxxxxx