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Sweden asks India to clarify arms presence in Myanmar

December 14, 2012

The European Union has had a weapons embargo against Myanmar since 1996.— File Photo by Reuters

STOCKHOLM: Sweden asked India on Thursday to clarify how Swedish-made weapons wound up in Myanmar in breach of EU sanctions, after it was revealed the Indian army had purchased the arms, Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling said.

The announcement came a day after Sweden's export control agency said it was investigating the arms presence, a probe Bjorling said had already borne fruit.

She told parliament that the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (ISP) had informed her that the arms came from India.

“And as a result I asked ISP to request clarification from the Indian authorities,” Bjorling said.

Pictures taken by a Myanmar freelance photographer and published in the Swedish media this week show a Carl Gustaf M3 anti-tank rifle and ammunition left behind by Myanmar government soldiers.

The weapon's serial number is clearly visible in one of the photographs.

The European Union has had a weapons embargo against Myanmar since 1996.

On Wednesday, an ISP spokeswoman said it was “relatively unusual” for Swedish weapons to end up in the hands of third parties.