Customs officials intercepted a trailer truck and seized about 53 tonnes of paddy believed smuggled in from Cambodia on a road in Wattana Nakhon district of Sa Kaew province on Sunday.
Acting on a tipoff that some financiers had bought paddy from Cambodian traders to be smuggled into Thailand through the border in Aranyaprathet to be sold locally to make profits from the price difference, customs officials stepped up patrolling to look out for suspicious trucks.
They found a suspicious trailer truck which was almost covered up with canvas heading from the border toward Wattana Nakhon and gave chase. The truck was finally forced to a stop in Wattana Nakhon about 30 kilometres from the border.
The officials found paddy weigh about 53 tonnes. The driver, Sakchai Thepjung, claimed that he was delivering the paddy to a Thai financier, but he could not produce any document about where the paddy was bought.
The driver was detained on charge of smuggling contraband into the country.
Officials said that paddy in Cambodia is 4 baht a kilogramme which is cheaper than the Thai grains priced at 5 baht/kg. The price different is tempting for financiers to smuggle Cambodia paddy to be sold locally to make profits.