Cars valued at Bt20 million seized in smuggling ring crackdown


BANGKOK, June 9 — The Thai Customs Department on Monday said it seized 30 Honda and Toyota automobiles stolen in Malaysia but awaiting further movement in Thailand as part of their being smuggled to a third country.

In a press conference with Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Dato Nazirah binti Hussain today, Customs director-general Rakop Srisupaat said the cars worth Bt21.6 million were stolen in Malaysia and smuggled into Thailand to await delivery to a third country.

Mr Rakop said that Malaysian authorities had asked their Thai counterparts to suppress a gang of car thieves who included Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Chinese offenders.

They stole cars in Malaysia and smuggled them into Thailand through many channels.

Thai customs officials had closely monitored all border checkpoints with Malaysia but to found no suspected vehicles. It was believed that the cars may be smuggled using ships and finally found the stolen cars at the Laem Chabang port in the eastern province of Chon Buri.

Fifteen vehicles earlier stolen from Malaysia were seized. Mr Rakop said that the latest roundup was considered a major crackdown with 30 cars seize. Thai nationals found to have been involved in the crime tarnished the national image, he said.