Customs Seizes 15 Cars Reportedly Stolen In UK
A request from British authorities to find stolen cars believed to have been exported to Thailand has led to the seizure of 122 vehicles imported by Thai dealership companies.
15 of 42 luxury cars that British authorities said were stolen and exported to Thailand have been seized by Thai Customs.
Out of those, 15 were found to be stolen in the UK. Thai customs says they're investigating around 300 other vehicles suspected to be illegally imported.
The customs displayed a Mercedes GLE 350 and a Nissan GTR at a news briefing Friday, part of the batch sought by Britain. The customs bureau said the cars were seized when their Thai importer attempted to ship them out of Thailand to evade officials.
Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of Thai customs, said the vehicles that British authorities are seeking were partially paid for in monthly installments by UK buyers before being sold on the black market.
"The buyers only paid around 5 or 10 percent of the car's cost and they would then sell it," he said. "In the United Kingdom, they classify these cars as stolen."
Police raids on May 18 and 22 resulted in the seizure of 122 cars that included luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, McClaren and Lotus.
Of the 122 cars seized, 31 Lamborghinis and a Lexus were declared to Thai customs as cheaper models than they actually were, which amounted to around 650 million baht ($19 million) worth of losses in tax collection, police said.