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Thailand: Vessel caught smuggling diesel

Vessel caught smuggling diesel
20 Oct 2021

A small oil tanker carrying 400,000 litres of smuggled diesel was seized and its crew arrested in Samut Prakan on Saturday.

Officials provided details of the raid on Tuesday.

Pol Gen Suchart Teerasawat, director of the police centre for suppression of illegal fuel, said the Thailand-registered MV Nua Samut 9 was boarded and searched on Saturday afternoon by marine police while the vessel was moored near Koh Sichang off Chon Buri province.

Police found an undeclared cargo of 400,000 litres of diesel oil, he said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Four crewmen on board the tanker were arrested – captain Suwan Inthongpan, 56; engineer Montree Sukchit, 41; and crewmen Suriyan Meksaenand and Putharak Suisena, 34 and 37 respectively.

The vessel was moved to a nearby boat landing up the Chao Phraya River at tambon Laem Fa Pha in Samut Prakan's Phra Samut Chedi district.

After examining the vessel’s cargo and documents, excise and customs officials confirmed the fuel had been smuggled into the country.

Pol Lt Gen Jirapop Puridet, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said the smuggled diesel would have been sold to pump outlets, boat operators and other clients for 15-16 baht per litre. The current retail price is around 30 baht per litre.