PHUKET TOWN: Two boats, a classic Hatteras motor yacht and a small sailing yacht, are to be auctioned on August 29 at the Phuket Customs Region 5 offices on Phuket Rd. The boats were seized after their owners, both foreigners, failed to pay Thailand’s crushing 209% boat import taxes. The motor yacht, the ‘Old Crow’, which belonged to a Swiss national who runs a resort in Kata, was seized at Yacht Haven. The 32-foot boat, which is 30 years old, has one sleeping cabin, a toilet and shower, a galley, and a saloon. Equipment includes radar, GPS, depth sounder and radio. The auction reserve price is 1.7 million baht, including import duty and all other taxes. The 7.9-meter sailing yacht, ‘Bin Cha Cha’, which formerly belonged to an Australian resident, was seized at the Rattanachai Shipyard. It is equipped with a Volvo engine. The reserve price has been set at 600,000 baht. Both boats may be inspected at the Rattanachai Shipyard on Sri Sena Rd, Phuket Town. Would-be buyers should arrive at the Customs office before 9 am. Registration to take part in the auction may be made on the day or in advance by contacting the Customs Department (Tel: 076-211377). Those wishing to bid in the auction will be required to put down a 20,000-baht refundable deposit. The auction will start at 10:30 am. The winning bidder will be required to pay 25% of the sale price immediately and the remainder within seven days. Pol Maj Praset Srikunnarat, inspector of the Phuket Marine Police, told the Gazette that eight yachts have been seized in Phuket in the past year for non-payment of taxes. “This will be the second time that we have auctioned seized boats,” he noted. “The first time was on March 20.” The March 20 auction sparked widespread public disbelief when the event started and ended before the appointed hour. The sole bidder, a police officer serving with the Economic Crime Investigations Division in Bangkok, walked away with a luxurious two-year-old Sealine T46 for just 5.5 million baht, including duties and taxes. A new T46 costs about 36 million baht, including duties and taxes. Maj Prasert said that, of the five remaining boats, two had been handed back to their owners after import taxes had been paid, while the other three – one large sailing yacht, one small one and a speedboat, will be auctioned next month.
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