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Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC) has uncovered massive fuel smuggling operations in the country’s southern provinces.
SBPAC member Chaiyong Maneerungsakul said, "In the aggregate, each day, there is smuggling of no less than 3 million liters of illegal petrol. But officers are not able to catch any of it, even though the petrol is transported on modified trucks with 2,000-3,000 liter petrol barrels attached on each vehicle. There have not been arrests of wrongdoers in any manner."
The smuggled fuel’s value is roughly $3.9 million, causing the state to lose $700,000 of tax revenue per day, The Bangkok Post reported.
According to Chaiyong, since 2009 the gasoline smuggling network has expanded continuously, with both boats and vehicles smuggling fuel into Songkhla, Satun, and Narathiwat.
Gasoline and diesel are still the main items being smuggled out across the Malaysia-Thailand border, as their prices in Thailand are almost twice of that in Malaysia.
Malaysia's Anti-Smuggling Unit (UPP) director general and Home Ministry Policing and Border Security Division secretary Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail said fuel smuggling on the Malasian side of the border was under control, noting that large-scale smuggling activities no longer took place at the Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Perak borders with Thailand due to the integrated operation and strict control by the enforcement authorities.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com