PHUKET TOWN: The Phuket Marine Police yesterday evening raided a warehouse in Moo Bann Iravadee on the bypass road after receiving a report that it contained smuggled cigarettes. But instead of illegal smokes, they found about two tonnes of illegally imported meat, worth about 200,000 baht. Pol Lt Col Bunjerd Piriyavong of the Phuket Marine Police told the Gazette that officers had waited until Somchai Salika, 37, from Pa Khlok, arrived to open the door, then presented him with a search warrant. Inside the store, they found the two tonnes of beef and buffalo meat, with packaging indicating it had originated from India and New Zealand. Officers then demanded that Somchai show them his license to import meat. He admitted he did not have one. “During the initial investigation, Somchai told us that the meat was imported from Malaysia but declined to tell us anything more. We believe it was brought in by boat,” Lt Col Bunjerd added. This is the second time that the Marine Police have seized illegal meat in Phuket. The first was last year, when 400 kilograms were confiscated. “Many people have asked us why the Marine Police are involved in investigating the illegal import of meat. Our main job is to prevent the smuggling of illegal gasoline, but the fact is, as police officers, we have a duty to prevent any breaking of the law,” Lt Col Bunjerd said. The meat was sent to the Phuket Provincial Livestock office where it was checked for diseases and then buried in front of the Customs offices.
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