Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) seized 29 of 35 luxury cars reportedly stolen from the UK and smuggled to Bangkok, Thailand, reports ThaiRath.
The seizures follow a request from England’s National Crime Agency for the DSI’s help in locating 35 luxury cars collectively worth more than £2.4 million (more than 100 million Thai baht), believed to be illegally imported to Thailand during 2018-19.
Police in England dubbed the investigation “Operation Titanium.”
The Deputy Director of the DSI, Payao Thongsen, said luxury cars were delivered by air from London Heathrow International Airport to Singapore using fake documentation. The cars were then transferred to Thailand by ship.
Among the smuggled vehicles are a Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder, Ferrari, BMW M4, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Nissan GT-R, Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, MINI Cooper, Ford Mustang, Lexus, Audi Q7, Volkswagen, and Honda Civic Type R.
Most recently, DSI officers collected evidence leading them to a showroom in Bangkok, which they searched on February 15 under a warrant issued by the Criminal Court. The DSI seized a stolen Porsche Cayenne in the raid.
On February 20, the DSI seized a MINI Cooper from a condominium in the capital.
Both of the vehicle’s make, model, vehicle and engine numbers corresponded to the information of the cars stolen in England provided by the National Crime Agency.
The DSI said the owners of those two cars were unaware they had purchased stolen cars and are being treated as witnesses. They were understanding and cooperative, said police.
Of the 35 stolen cars, the DSI has located and seized 29 in total. Back in March 2018, the DSI seized seven of the cars from an STT Auto Car showroom the Bangkok’s Huay Kwang district.
In September that year, seven more were intercepted shortly after being shipped from England.
The remaining six stolen luxury cars are still under investigation. The DSI said they will expedite the investigation to locate the missing vehicles and to prosecute all those responsible for the operation, including those complicit in it.
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