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Police seize fuel-smuggling mother ship

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Police seize fuel-smuggling mother ship | Thaiger

PHUKET: Marine Police boarded and seized two Thai tankers laden with a total of 1.1 million liters of gasoline, which was being smuggled into the country on New Year’s Day. Pol Col Peera Boonliang, Superintendent of the Phuket Marine Police, said this morning that investigations into a smuggling ring led to the raids in which eight Thai crewmen were arrested. Col Peera explained that officers boarded the tanker, the Por Andaman 2, 20 nautical miles southwest of Racha Noi Island. On board they found a million liters of fuel. Officers then boarded a smaller, unregistered tanker 10 miles north of Racha Noi. This vessel was found to be carrying 100,000 liters of gasoline, which it had picked up from the Por Andaman 2. He explained, “Tankers this big [as the Por Andaman 2] normally stay in international waters, so we can’t arrest them. But strong winds had made the sea too rough for the smaller boats to go out to pick up the gasoline. So the big tanker had to come in and hide among the islands.” The eight crewmen have been charged with failing to pay import duty on the gasoline. Had the arrested smugglers managed to remain undetected, the government would have lost around 20 million baht in import duty. Police investigating the Por Andaman 2’s registration details discovered that it belongs to a man in Trang, who, the crewmen told police, owned both vessels.

 

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