2000 hidden luxury cars

2000 luxury cars smuggled into Thailand stored in private dangerous goods zone at Laem Chabang port. 90% of luxury cars imported illegally, source claims.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) raided several spots and seized 126 luxury cars for inspection on Sunday.

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CRIME

Buyers said to pick them up without paying tax

10/06/2013
King-Oua Laohong & Nopparat Kingkaeo

Almost 2,000 luxury cars have been smuggled into Thailand and stored at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri's Si Racha district, a source at the port's Customs Office revealed on Sunday.

The cars were kept in the port's zones designated for storing the dangerous goods of private companies, the source said.

Some cars had disappeared because their importers had already sold them to customers and promised to pay the import tax later.

In some cases, the importers sold their imported cars at a price relatively lower than that it should be given the high import tax impost, the source said.

As a result, these cars could not be registered while the buyers refused to return the vehicles because they had already paid the money.

In the end, the buyers would have to find another way to get their imported cars registered, the source said.

Those cars have not been declared for tax clearance. They were just left at the port so the Customs Department cannot do anything yet. About 90% of luxury cars in Thailand were not imported legally, the source said.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI), meanwhile, raided several spots and seized 126 luxury cars for inspection on Sunday.

The first place raided was Auto Art Service Co on Lat Phrao Road that did not appear to have the capacity to reassemble luxury cars as it had claimed in its registration papers.

The second spot was a used-car showroom on Ekkachai Road in Bang Bon district while the third raid was carried out at JDP Fibreglass Product Co in Nakhon Pathom's Buddha Monthon district.

The fourth place was a house on Chaeng Watthana Road in Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district and the fifth spot raided was a condominium in Sukhumvit.

The last spot was Chakkrawat police station where one Ferrari had previously been seized and handed over to the DSI.

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the department will meet five state agencies today over a joint operation to verify about 9,962 luxury cars suspected of having been imported illegally.

The five organisations are the Customs Department, Excise Department, Thai Industrial Standards Institute, Central Institute of Forensic Science, and Land Transport Department.

Out of the 10,000 cars to be inspected, 6,862 cars have been registered while about 3,000 cars were pending registration and the other 100 cars are imported cars priced at more than 4 million baht, Mr Tarit said. He also said some senior state officials, politicians and a well-known Buddhist temple abbot in Samut Prakan whom he had mentioned earlier as owning a luxury car suspected of having been imported illegally had since contacted the DSI and insisted their cars were legal products. These people probably were not involved in illegal car import activities but they simply were innocent buyers, Mr Tarit said.

In Surin, immigration authorities were seeking cooperation with the Customs Department and the Suranaree Special Task Force to strengthen security at the border to prevent owners sending smuggled luxury cars across the border to Cambodia during the crackdown.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Buyers said to pick them up without paying tax, 10/06/2013, King-Oua Laohong & Nopparat Kingkaeo, link


Smuggling Vocabulary

smuggle - bring goods into a country secretly and illegally ลักลอบนำเข้า
smuggled into port

luxury - the best and most expensive of something ที่หรูหรา
luxury cars

port - an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it ท่าเรือ
Laem Chabang port - a container port and Thailand's largest port (See Wikipedia)

2,000 luxury cars 'smuggled' into port

pick up - to go and get something (that is waiting for you)
buyer picks up a luxury car

Buyers said to pick them up without paying tax.

source - someone who gives information to the media แหล่งข่าว
customs - the government agency that checks goods coming into the country and collects tax or tariff
a source at customs

revealed - made known or showed somthing that was surprising or that was previously secret เปิดเผย
a source at customs revealed on Sunday.

Almost 2,000 luxury cars have been smuggled into Thailand and stored at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri's Si Racha district, a source at the port's Customs Office revealed on Sunday.

designated - formally chosen for something แต่งตั้ง แต่งตั้งให้เป็น ที่ได้รับการแต่งตั้ง marked, separated, or give a name for a particular purpose ถูกกำหนด
zones designated for storing dangerous goods

The cars were kept in the port's zones designated for storing the dangerous goods of private companies, the source said.

import - to buy or bring in products from another country นำเข้า
import tax

Some cars had disappeared because their importers had already sold them to customers and promised to pay the import tax later.

relatively -
compared to other things
relatively lower - lower compared to other things
sold at a price relatively lower than that it should be

In some cases, the importers sold their imported cars at a price relatively lower than that it should be given the high import tax impost, the source said.

register (verb) - officially record as a business with the government (and given permission to operate) จดทะเบียน
registration
(noun) - การจดทะเบียน

register vehicle - จดทะเบียนรถ

vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ, รถยนต,์ รถ
registered vehicles - vehicles registered with government

As a result, these cars could not be registered while the buyers refused to return the vehicles because they had already paid the money.

clearance - official permission to go ahead, to continue (after a check that everything is ok)
tax clearance

Those cars have not been declared for tax clearance. They were just left at the port so the Customs Department cannot do anything yet. About 90% of luxury cars in Thailand were not imported legally, the source said.

raid - to enter a place by force (police or military); when police enter a place by force suddenly searching for illegal activities or goods เข้าบุก การบุกเข้าจับกุม การเข้าตรวจค้น  บุกเข้าจับ s เข้าตรวจค้น ใช้กำลังเข้าค้นสถานที่หรือ จับกุมคนร้าย

spot - a place
raided several spots

seize -
to take by force
inspection - an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา  การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
seized luxury cars for inspection

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI), meanwhile, raided several spots and seized 126 luxury cars for inspection on Sunday.

re - again
assemble - to build and put together from parts (to assemble a car)
reassemble -
to assemble again (for the second time)

capacity - the ability to do something ความสามารถในการทำงาน
the capacity to reassemble luxury cars

registration - recording in an official government list and giving permission to do something (such as own a car)
registration papers

claim - to say something is true without proving it
it claimed this in its registration papers.

The first place raided was Auto Art Service Co on Lat Phrao Road that did not appear to have the capacity to reassemble luxury cars as it had claimed in its registration papers.

hand over - give
one Ferrari had previously been seized and handed over to the DSI.

state - government รัฐ
state agencies

joint - done with someone else; do some activity or project together ร่วมกัน
a joint operation

verify - check and prove that something is true or that standards have been met พิสูจน์ว่าเป็นความจริง
verify luxury cars were imported illegally

suspected - people believe that they might have done something wrong, but not yet proven เป็นที่สงสัย
luxury cars suspected of having been imported illegally

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the department will meet five state agencies today over a joint operation to verify about 9,962 luxury cars suspected of having been imported illegally.

pending - waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
pending registration

Out of the 10,000 cars to be inspected, 6,862 cars have been registered while about 3,000 cars were pending registration and the other 100 cars are imported cars priced at more than 4 million baht, Mr Tarit said.

abbot - the head monk at a temple เจ้าอาวาส
a well-known Buddhist temple abbot

insisted - say firmly that something must happen or is true, and will not change mind
they insisted their cars were legal products

He also said some senior state officials, politicians and a well-known Buddhist temple abbot in Samut Prakan whom he had mentioned earlier as owning a luxury car suspected of having been imported illegally had since contacted the DSI and insisted their cars were legal products.

illegal
- against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
illegal car import activities

innocent - not having done anything wrong บริสุทธิ์ harmless; not intended to hurt anyone ไม่มีพิษมีภัย
innocent buyers

These people probably were not involved in illegal car import activities but they simply were innocent buyers.

immigration - the controls that governments place on flows of people into the country and the government department in charge of this
authorities - people who have the power to make decisions and enforce laws ผู้มีอำนาจ เจ้าหน้าที่
immigration authorities

cooperation - work together towards a goal ความร่วมมือกัน working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน
seeking cooperation
immigration authorities were seeking cooperation with the customs

security - the activity of making safe or protecting from harm ความปลอดภัย
border - the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
strengthen security at the border

crackdown - strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity (for a period of time) การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่  strong official action to punish lawbreakers การปราบปรามขั้นเด็ดขาด
prevent car smuggling during the crackdown.

In Surin, immigration authorities were seeking cooperation with the Customs Department and the Suranaree Special Task Force to strengthen security at the border to prevent owners sending smuggled luxury cars across the border to Cambodia during the crackdown.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer