PHUKET: The Ministry of Finance is offering rewards for anyone giving information that leads to the arrest of gasoline smugglers, it was announced today. The announcement came as Marine Police said they had stopped two vessels on Friday, arrested nine people, and confiscated more than 100,000 liters of fuel. Pol Lt Gen Luan Panrotthip, Commissioner of the Illegal Gasoline Suppression Center, said the Ministry is offering rewards for information equivalent to 35% of fines levied, plus 20% of the value of the fuel seized in any police action resulting from the information. Anyone wishing to give information, he said, should call 02-2052245 or fax to 02-2510976, or contact any police station in Thailand. Meanwhile, Pol Col Misakawan Buara, Superintendent of the Phuket Marine Police, told the Gazette that last Friday afternoon the Marine Police stopped a vessel, the Pailin 19, in Thai waters, 23 nautical miles west of the Similan Islands. On board they found 100,000 liters of untaxed gasoline and several walkie-talkie sets. They also stopped another boat, the Por Roongjareonsub, aboard which they found a further 2,000 liters of illegal gasoline that had been transferred from the Pailin 19. Nine sailors from the two vessels have been charged with avoiding excise duty on gasoline and using unlicensed walkie-talkies.
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