TAX DODGE PROBE
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has identified the owners of six luxury cars which caught on fire during a shipment in Nakhon Ratchasima last month.
The vehicles were on a trailer travelling to Si Sa Ket province on May 29 when several of them caught fire in Pak Chong district.
The incident prompted the DSI to look into the cars' owners, who were suspected of taking part in a tax scam.
DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith yesterday said the fire had damaged some of the cars' vehicle identification numbers, slowing down the identification process. The Central Institute of Forensic Science found a way to recover the numbers, he said.
Mr Tarit said the DSI now knows the identities of each of the six cars' owners after questioning Angun Juengsaengmanee, the owner of the trailer used to transport the cars.
He said the DSI will conduct a straightforward investigation despite rumours that some of the impounded vehicles belong to politicians.
Meanwhile, the DSI will start examining 548 impounded luxury cars next Monday. The held cars were registered as locally assembled.
The DSI would immediately seize any vehicles if it turns out they were not locally assembled, he added.
Meanwhile, former senator Ruangkrai Leekijwattana said yesterday he would file a petition with the DSI today to inspect a Rolls Royce owned by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.
He wanted the agency to verify whether Mr Chalerm's car was legally imported and the tax on the vehicle was correctly paid. The car should have cost more than 32.1 million baht, including tax, but some reports indicate the imported price of the car was 26.9 million baht, he said.