CSD officers suspect tax evasion, but two disused 747 jets and their engines are not easy to hide.
Officers from the Crime Suppression Division inspect a disused Boeing 747 jet. The CSD suspects the plane’s engines have been removed and sold illegally, but this was denied by the owner, Orient Thai Airways. CHINNAWAT SINGHA
CSD probes 4 missing Orient Thai aircraft engines
The Crime Suppression Division is investigating the disappearance of four aircraft engines from Phitsanulok airport amid suspicions they may have been sold as part of a tax-evasion scheme.
The engines, as well as other major aircraft parts, disappeared from two decommissioned Boeing 747s belonging to Orient Thai Airways parked at the domestic airport.
An initial inspection by CSD police found the aircraft had also been externally repainted, rendering their countries of origin and numbers unidentifiable.
Airport director Kasem Intasorn told police Orient Thai Airways rented docking space at Phitsanulok.
The budget airline operator reasoned it could not afford space for the two Boeing planes at Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport.
The CSD is examining documents to see whether Orient Thai Airways parked the planes for maintenance.
"Officers have not yet charged anybody. We're interrogating the relevant parties," said deputy CSD chief Prasobchok Prommun after appointing investigators to inspect the two jets on Monday evening. However, he said, police initially believed that the engines might have been removed for resale. A single main engine can fetch up to 26 million baht.
The two aircraft were inspected after a police informant reported that the planes might be involved in "illegal activities, especially tax evasion", according to a CSD press release.
However, Orient Thai chief executive Udom Tantiprasongchai denied the accusation. He admitted that the engines had been removed, but he said this was a usual practice for decommissioned planes.
The two engines in question had not been used for five or six years, he said. Mr Udom said the engines were now being kept at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport.
He added that the removal of the engines had been properly carried out as the company had to ask the relevant authorities for permission to transport such large airplane parts.
Orient Thai had rented the two Boeing planes for use in its domestic aviation business.
However, after the rental contract expired, the owner did not ask for them back, leaving the company to shoulder parking costs of nearly one million baht a year.
Mr Udom said the officers could seize the planes if they wanted to, or the company would be happy to give them away for free to any agencies or organisations which would like to exhibit them.
suppression – stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity การปราบปราม
inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
disused – no longer used เลิกใช้เป็นเวลานาน
suspect – to believe that something is true, especially something bad สงสัย
illegally – in a way that is against the law อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
deny – to say that you did not do something that someone has accused you of doing ปฏิเสธ
investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
probe – to investigate; to attempt to find out the truth about something; to examine ตรวจสอบ
disappearance – moving something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen การหายไป, การสาบสูญ, การสูญหาย
suspicion – a feeling that something bad is probably true or likely to happen ความสงสัย
tax evasion – deliberately not paying the taxes you owe การหนีภาษี
scheme – a plan for achieving something, especially something illegal or dishonest แผนการ (ที่มีท่าว่าจะผิดกฎหมาย)
decommissioned – taken out of use or service ปลดประจำการ
domestic – relating to a person's own country ภายในประเทศ
initial – happening at the beginning of a process ในเบื้องต้น
external – of the outside part of something ภายนอก
render – make or cause to be ทำให้
country of origin – the country where something first came from แหล่งกำเนิดสินค้า
unidentifiable – impossible to know (who someone is) ซึ่งไม่สามารถระบุได้
rent – to pay money for the use of something for a period of time เช่า
docking space – a place where a ship, plane, etc. can be kept, unloaded, etc. ที่สำหรับจอดเรือ, เครื่องบิน
operator – a person or company that runs a business ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
reason – to form a judgement about a situation by considering the facts and using your power to think in a logical way คิดคำนวณในใจ,สรุป,ชี้แจงเหตุผล
afford – to have enough money to be able to pay for something มีเงินพอจับจ่าย ซื้อหา
document – a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type เอกสาร
maintenance – the act of keeping something in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly การซ่อมบำรุง
charge – to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
interrogate – to ask someone a lot of questions in order to get information สอบถาม,ซักถาม
relevant – directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered ที่เกี่ยวข้อง
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
fetch – to be sold for a particular amount of money ขายในราคาหนึ่ง
informant – a person who gives secret information about somebody/something to the police or a newspaper ผู้ให้ข้อมูล, ผู้บอก, ผู้แจ้ง
involved – taking part or having a role in something เกี่ยวข้อง
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
practice – a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
properly – in a way that is correct and/or appropriate อย่างเหมาะสม, อย่างถูกต้อง
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
permission – allowing someone to do something การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
transport – to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง
aviation – the flying of aircraft การบิน
expire – to come to an end or stop being in use หมดอายุ
shoulder – to deal with or accept something difficult แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
seize – to take something using official power ยึด
exhibit – to put something interesting in a museum or other public place so that people can go and look at it จัดแสดง