PHUKET TOWN: Following undercover surveillance by mineral resources officers, authorities raided a sand processing yard fronting for an illegal tin refinery. Phuket Town Police Superintendent Pol Col Chalit Tintanee and Phuket Mineral Resources Department Chief Panya Worathammaporn, along with officers of both departments, descended on the 15-rai facility, located at 163/5 Wichitsongkram Road, at 5:30 Wednesday afternoon and uncovered five tons of tin ore along with one and one-half tons of refined tin. Police said the tin seizure, valued at approximately eleven million baht, was the largest of its kind in recent history. The work yard’s owner, Wisit Suriyongprasert, 35, was taken into custody and later charged with operating an unlicensed tin refinery. Under questioning, the suspect told police that the company concealed the tin material during transport under loads of sand in its fleet of trucks. The suspect told authorities the bulk of the refined tin was destined for export markets. A total of ten workers were employed at the illegal facility. Police also questioned the owner to ascertain the origin of the tin used by the refinery.
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