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Massive petrol smuggling network uncovered in South

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Massive petrol smuggling network uncovered in South | The Thaiger
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by Krissana Thiwatsirikul

PHOTO: Facebook/Thai News Agency 

Thirteen people have been arrested following the largest seizure of smuggled petrol in the South in years.

Soldiers and paramilitary rangers intercepted 290,000 litres of petrol being smuggled at a pier in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Tha Sala district after a stake-out this morning. Customs and excise officials inspected the petrol and vehicles before handing the matter and the suspects over to the police.

Two modified 20 metre vessels, the Ore Feungfa and Khajornlarp, docked at the pier with 290,000 litres of gasoline in their holds. Officials also impounded four 18-wheel trucks and a six-wheel truck parked nearby ready to take on the shipment.

The 13 suspects apprehended included the boats’ skippers and crewmembers and the truck drivers. Several boat crewmembers jumped into the sea and escaped arrest.

Officials claimed that Somsak Narongdech, skipper of the Ore Feungfa, confessed he had received the shipment in international waters and was going to offload it to the trucks, but he didn’t know the final destination. He reportedly said he handled six or seven such shipments a month.

Yothin Pengsawat, driver of one of the 18-wheel trucks, purportedly said he was supposed to take the petrol to a customer in Nakhon Sawan.

STORY: The Nation

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Crime

Millions of baht worth of cigarettes seized after smuggled over Burmese border

Caitlin Ashworth

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Millions of baht worth of cigarettes seized after smuggled over Burmese border | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Residents

Illegal cigarettes, valued around 2.6 million baht, have been confiscated by police after they were smuggled in over the Burmese border and into the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thai media reports. Three men were caught by police shortly after they crossed the border, but one was able to run back into Myanmar.

Although it was just cigarettes, smuggling of illegal substances has become a leading concern for Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin. In the course of 6 months, thousands of people in northeast Thailand were arrested in drug cases, mostly smuggling marijuana across the Mekong and larger and more lucrative shipments of methamphetamine out of the Golden Triangle area.

Cigarette smuggling is a popular trade over the Burmese borders into central western Thailand down to Ranong province, and the southern province borders from Malaysia.

SOURCES: Thai Residents

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Crime

Surat Thani police extortion case – police chief promises swift and thorough investigation

Jack Burton

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Surat Thani police extortion case – police chief promises swift and thorough investigation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: One 31 TV

Police in the southern Surat Thani province have been ordered to speed up their internal investigation into allegations that 3 of their officers demanded 5 million baht from a trader to drop charges relating to the purchase of seafood from local fishermen. The report will be submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission. A spokesman said today that the investigation is being headed the deputy provincial police commander .

“The panel has been instructed to be thorough and without compromise. Their report will be submitted to the NACC as soon as possible. The probe will be sped up. It will take 3 or 4 days to complete.’’

Provincial Police Region 8 has also set up a separate disciplinary panel to investigate the 3 officers, who will be transferred to the police regional office in Phuket.

Surat Thani police extortion case - police chief promises swift and thorough investigation | News by The Thaiger

On Wednesday, about 200 angry fishermen from Surat Thani’s Kanchanadit district surrounded a police car and rioted after they heard that the 3 officers had tried to extort money from the trader, Anucha Binmusa.

Police reinforcements were sent to the scene to negotiate with the hundreds of locals who turned up to add their support to the trader and vent their anger at the police attempt to extort money. They later dispersed.

Surat Thani police extortion case - police chief promises swift and thorough investigation | News by The Thaiger

46 year old Anucha, the cockle trader, later filed an official complaint with local police against the 3 officers, accusing them of demanding money in exchange for dropping charges over the purchase of baby cockles, which they claimed were harvested illegally. Anucha says the cockles were harvested by local fishermen from the Tapi River.

The three officers had seized 23 sacks containing 700 kilograms of baby cockles valued around 500,000 baht.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

19 kilograms of crystal meth, valued around 10 million baht, seized on Thai train

Jack Burton

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19 kilograms of crystal meth, valued around 10 million baht, seized on Thai train | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

2 people are in custody and 19 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or “ya ice” has been seized after it was discovered in their bags on an express train from Bangkok to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat last night. 22 year old Ekkapong Kaewsa, of Bangkok, and his female companion 23 year old Methanee Suparb from Si Sa Ket, were arrested by railway police as the train was approaching Hua Hin station about 6pm.

The railway police commander said the arrests followed a tip that couriers would be carrying illicit drugs on special express train 9085 from Bang Sue station in Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat. Railway police were assigned to all carriages. As the train approached Hua Hin, officers noticed 2 passengers acting suspiciously. They approached and demanded to search the couple’s bags. Inside, they police found 19 plastic wrapped packages, each of which was found to contain a kilogram of crystal meth. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of about 10 million baht, according to police.

Ekkapong reportedly confessed to having smuggled drugs by train on several occasions. He said he had asked Methanee, a waitress, to accompany him on the trip to deliver the drugs to Nakhon Si Thammarat. He says he was paid 100,000 baht to make the delivery.

Police are expanding the investigation to find others involved and the source of the drugs.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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