B98m impounded from Lao money smugglers

B98m impounded from Lao money smugglers

The Anti-Money Laundering Office has impounded 98 million baht seized from two Lao brothers who tried to smuggle the cash out of the country, hidden in their vehicle, through Nong Khai province.

Deputy secretary-general Pol Maj Gen Romsit Weeriyasan said on Thursday that Amlo's transaction committee resolved to freeze the money for 90 days for further investigation.

The cash was seized from Suban Tiasiri, 30, and Khambon Tiasiri, 24, on Dec 12, 2017. Customs officials suspected they had smuggled in cash in a different currency earned by suspicious means, exchanged it for baht which they were smuggling back to Laos, where Thai currency can be spent without having to report its possession.

The Lao brothers were stopped while crossing the border checkpoint on the Thai-Lao friendship bridge in Nong Khai. They were travelling in a Toyota Land Cruiser with Lao licence plates.

Thai authorities found several milk cartons inside the vehicle containing stacks of 1,000-baht banknotes which were covered with milk packs.

On closer inspection, they found the rest of the money hidden throughout the vehicle's structure, including the engine.

The Finance Ministry requires travellers to declare possession of foreign currency in cash valued at 450,000 baht or more when entering or leaving Thailand.

The two men claimed they operated a foreign currency exchange business.


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