Department of Special Investigations and Energy Ministry officials raided a Naklua gas station, arresting its owner for allegedly selling cooking gas to drivers of liquid natural gas vehicles.
Banglamung Police Superintendent Col. Somnuk Changate joined police and regulators on the Nov. 2 operation at the Tianchai Petrochemical station on Sukhumvit Road, apprehending owner Thummasak Rithkriangkrai on fraud charges. Authorities closed the station for all business.
Police, Department of Special Investigations and Energy Ministry officials raid the Tianchai Petrochemical station on Sukhumvit Road.
The raid came after complaints that Thummasak had been trying to pad his bottom line by reselling cheaper cooking gas as transportation fuel, a violation of ministry regulations that could put the gas station owner behind bars for up to 10 years and cost him up to 100,000 baht in fines.
Inspectors found a tanker transferring cooking gas to a tank marked for LNG in the rear of the station. Several employees, suspected to be illegal aliens, also were taken into custody. DSI investigator Prawit Chaibuadaneg said the owner confessed to the charges.
Prawit said the cooking-for-transport gas switch is common, as it nets unscrupulous gas station owners about 1.6 baht per liter.