PATONG: Marine Police and Customs officers are conducting random inspections of ships in the Andaman region while police officers and Department of Energy officials are inspecting gas stations on the island in a crackdown on fuel being smuggled into Thailand.
Arthon Keesiri, Director of the Investigation and Suppression Office, Excise Department, Ministry of Finance, announced at a seminar on Saturday, “The Excise Department has been working to protect against and eliminate the use of illegal fuel. The department will be conducting random checks on fuel distributors and be on the lookout for smugglers,” he added.
Natie Tabmanee, Director of the Petroleum Division, Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), explained, “Most of the illegal fuel [in Thailand] is smuggled in from Singapore by ship. Shipments have been discovered in both the Gulf of Thailand and along the Andaman coast.
“The government must increase measures to find and arrest people engaged in illegal activities,” he added.
Sirisak Wittayaudom, an expert in fuel and gas safety from the Department of Energy Business, Ministry of Energy, said that Energy Department officers are using a mobile laboratory to test whether fuel being sold by petrol stations is up to market quality, as smuggled fuel tends to be of a lesser grade.
K. Arthon requested that people who know of any illegal activity relating to fuel or tax should report it to the Excise Department on its hotline at Tel: 1713.
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