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Demand and supply

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Thai police think they have a new and better way of stopping vehicle theft. 

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Car parts seized from a suspected gang of thieves are displayed at an abandoned factory in Chachoengsao's Muang district. SONTANAPORN INCHAN

‘‘It’s a basic principle of economics that without demand, the supply will fall,’’ says Section 2 police commander of the Crime Suppression Division Akkharadet Phimonsri.

That applies to all businesses, including the stolen car business. It is the reason Thai police are switching their target from car thieves to the unscrupulous garages which buy stolen vehicles Pol Col Akkharadet’ told the Bangkok Post recently.

“If there is no place to sell the stolen cars, car thieves will no longer want to steal them.”

Pol Col Akkharadet said he had assigned his deputy, Thawatchai Kamhaengphol, to lead a team to investigate where stolen vehicles were being sold.

Pol Lt Col Thawatchai’s team launched the investigation in early August. It did not take long to gather vital information.

Based on tip-offs from informants, garages in four provinces were identified by mid-August.

Raids on the garages resulted in the seizure of a large number of cars and motorcycles which were believed to have been stolen.

The garages raided were in Samko district of Ang Thong, Chachoengsao’s Muang district, Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district and Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district.

Garages in Ang Thong have long been known as sources for cheap parts among teenagers involved in illegal motorbike street racing in the province. The garages were popular because they could provide customers with spare parts exactly to their order.

The CSD officers said some of the seized vehicles were discovered to have been sold by their owners to the dealers despite the fact the vehicles were still under hire-purchase contracts.

Some had their engines changed along with registration documents and then put on sale in the used car market, Pol Col Akkharadet said.

‘‘Normally, the stolen cars were disassembled very quickly by those garages and then sold to their regular customers,’’ he said.

The most popular cars in the black market were Toyotas and Hondas. Isuzu was the most wanted in the pickup truck category, he said.

Adapted from a story in Monday’s Bangkok Post by Wassayos Ngamkham.

demand – the amount of a product or service that people want
supply – an amount or quantity of something that is available to use
principle – a basic idea or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works ทฤษฎี
commander – a police offer of high rank ผู้บังคับบัญชา
suppression – stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  การปราบปราม
switch – a change เปลี่ยน
target – a person, business, building, area, etc., that someone intends to attack เป้าหมาย
unscrupulous – behaving in a way that is dishonest or unfair in order to get what you want ที่ไม่ซื่อสัตย์
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
launch – to start something เริ่มต้น เริ่มทำ
vital – extremely important; necessary for the success of something จำเป็น; สำคัญมาก
tip-off – secret information or a warning given by someone  ข่าวเตือน จากวงใน
informant – someone who secretly gives information about someone to the police or someone in authority ผู้บอก,  ผู้แจ้ง
identify – to specify  ระบุ
seizure – the act of taking control of something, especially by using power or force  การบุกเข้ายึด
raid – to use force to enter a place suddenly in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal weapons or drugs เข้าตรวจค้น
source – the place something comes from or starts at แหล่งกำเนิด
illegal – against the law  ผิดกฎหมาย
hire-purchase – a method of buying expensive goods in which you pay small regular amounts of money until you have paid the whole amount. The American word is installment plan การเช่าซื้อ
– a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type  เอกสาร
disassemble – to take something apart in order to repair it or understand how it works  แยกออก, ถอดออก

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