PHUKET: Six Thai fuel smugglers were arrested in the Andaman Sea on Saturday afternoon and 110,000 liters of low-grade diesel, worth about 330,000 baht, was seized from their vessel, the Fakthong 47. Pol Gen Narongwit Thaithong, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, said that the modified fishing vessel was stopped near Surin Island, 21 nautical miles off the coast of Phang Nga Province. The Fakthong 47 was ferrying illegal fuel from large boats outside Thai territorial waters to fishing boats inside Thai waters. Gen Narongwit reported that between one million and two million liters of diesel has been transferred in this way every month, giving the smugglers monthly sales of three million to six million baht. He added that the Fakthong 47 was a replacement for the Pailin 19 and the Chock-Krating 222, which were seized late last year. The smugglers were charged with fuel tax evasion and the illegal use of walkie-talkies. They are currently in detention awaiting trial.
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