As part of a year-long investigation, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation has seized 26 supercars illegally imported from England.
Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsutin stated that DSI police are trying to track down the criminals and another 9 illegally imported vehicles.
Mr. Somsak, DSI director-general Trairit Temahiwong and his deputy Pol Lt Col Phayao Thongsen informed the press on Monday that Thai police have seized 26 out of 35 supercars over the past few years.
He stated that in 2016, the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) and the Metropolitan Police of London collaborated to conduct the operation after discovering that criminals in England were involved in the importation.
Mr. Somsak stated that a group in England reviewed the sale or rental agreements before its network issued bills of lading and invoices for the shipment of automobiles from Heathrow Airport to Singapore.
Mr. Somsak stated that all thirty-five vehicles were transported to Thailand by sea.
As Thailand and the United Kingdom had signed the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) contacted the DSI to investigate the situation, he explained.
In 2017, the DSI seized seven of the 35 stolen supercars
During raids in Bangkok, officers discovered seven vehicles whose VINs matched those of the stolen vehicles, he reported.
They were discovered in two STT Auto Car-owned showrooms, he added.
Later, the Customs Department informed the DSI that he said another six stolen supercars were being held in the Bangkok Free Trade Zone, adding that the police seized them all.
Mr. Somsak stated that the DSI director-general began investigating the crime as a special case in June 2018.
According to him, the British government agency provided the DSI with case-related documents and evidence later that year.
Even though the crime was committed outside of Thailand, Mr. Somsak stated that it violated the Thai Criminal Code.
According to him, the attorney general signed the DSI to investigate the case in February this year.
He stated that the owners and buyers of 26 of the supercars were informed of the thefts and chose to return the vehicles to the DSI.
However, nine car owners have yet to return the remaining vehicles, he said, adding that any who refuse to do so may face legal consequences.
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