BANGKOK, Feb 27 – Thailand Customs today handed over seven stolen cars to the Malaysian Ambassador in Thailand, Datuk Nazirah Hussain, for the vehicles to be brought back to Malaysia. The cars are of various make, such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Ssangyong, Mitsubishi and BMW, were stolen in Malaysia and smuggled into Thailand. They were among smuggled vehicles seized by the Thai Customs.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Nazirah expressed the Malaysian government’s appreciation for the cooperation and support by the Thai authorities to make sure the cars could be returned to their rightful owners in Malaysia. Director-General of Thai Customs, Dr Somchai Sujjapongse said they had seized 126 cars which had to be returned to Malaysia, where 46 cars had been returned between July 2012 and end of last year.
Last year alone, Thailand Customs handed over 21 cars to Malaysian authorities. Cooperation on information exchange between the Thai Customs Department, the Royal Thai Police and the Malaysian Police enabled action to stop smuggling of stolen cars into Thailand, he added.
He said certain procedures had to be observed before the seized cars could be returned. For various reasons, most of the cars that were seized ended up in auctions, he added. Today, 232 cars seized by the Thai authorities were put up for auction. Somchai said the day-long auction, the first for this year, was expected to generate more than 300 million baht in revenue.
The most expensive car on auction was a Bentley Continential GT2012 which have a starting bid of 9.99 million baht and was finally sold for 13.1 million baht. Last year, two auctions for seized cars generated 907.395 million baht in revenue for the government, he added.