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UPDATE: Alleged Laos money smuggling – 98 million baht

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Suspecting that the two Lao men arrested on Tuesday trying to cross the border into Laos from Nong Khai with more than 98 million baht in undeclared Thai banknotes might be part of a larger criminal undertaking, Thai Customs officials plan to discuss the matter with their Lao counterparts.

Nong Khai Customs chief Nimit Saeng-ampai said on Wednesday the suspects’ Toyota Land Cruiser had been in and out of Thailand at least nine times.

The same vehicle is believed to have been used to transport cash each time, possibly to avoid detection by Lao authorities, he said.
Tuesday’s stash was allegedly found hidden inside milk boxes in the engine compartment.

UPDATE: Alleged Laos money smuggling - 98 million baht | News by Thaiger UPDATE: Alleged Laos money smuggling - 98 million baht | News by Thaiger

Investigators from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Anti-Money Laundering Office joined Customs agents in examining the case of arrested siblings 30 year old Suebanh Tiasili and 24 year old Khumborn Tiasyly.

“The duo applied for bail release, offering to leave all the confiscated cash to the Thai state,” Nimit said.

They were released on bail, but the cash and vehicle were seized, along with their passports, pending further investigation.

Nimit says officials were trying to verify the brothers’ claim that their family was in the currency-exchange business and they’d collected US$2.8 million worth of Thai banknotes at various banks in Nong Khai to take into Laos.

He noted that the baht was currently stronger against the US dollar than the Lao kip, so it was unlikely the money exchange was aimed at turning a profit.

Thai law prohibits amounts exceeding 450,000 baht to be carried outside the country without the relevant officials being notified.

UPDATE: Alleged Laos money smuggling - 98 million baht | News by Thaiger UPDATE: Alleged Laos money smuggling - 98 million baht | News by Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

 

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