Six “smuggled’ boats seized
CHERNG TALAY: Phuket Marine Police yesterday seized three jet-skis and three jet-boats worth a total of about 10 million baht during a raid on a house in Cherng Talay. Pol Lt Col Prasert Srikunnarath, Inspector of the Phuket Marine Police, told the Gazette that officers had not been provided with official documentation to show how the vessels were brought to Phuket about 14 months ago. The boats would stay at the Cherng Talay house but could not be moved until the documentation was produced, police said. The owner of the boats faces a fine of 10,000 baht for using the boats without permission and could face a second charge of importing the boats without paying duty. “We are still waiting for the boat owner to show the documents to us,” Col Prasert said. “He called from Russia to confirm that he has legal documents, which he will provide to us next week through his Thai agent.” The owner of the house told police that he was only looking after the boats for the Russian, and denied being involved in bringing them into the country. Col Prasert noted, “In the past 20 cases in Phuket of boats imported illegally, we have detected the involvement of Thai people who deceived foreigners by telling them that they would organize payment of taxes for them.” Despite Cabinet approval of a proposal to lower boat import duty to zero, imported boats continue to incur duty of 30%. Failure to pay this duty renders the offender liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or a fine equivalent to four times the unpaid tax, or both.
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