POLICE have set up a fact-finding committee to investigate two phone calls made by a senior Excise Department official asking for the release of a tanker carrying contraband diesel that had been seized in Prachuap Khiri Khan province as it was heading for Bangkok, Naewna newspaper said today (June 7).
Pol. Maj. Gen. Jaroonkiat Pankaew, head of the Anti-corruption Division, said the senior official had called a provincial Excise Department official who had accompanied a Highway Police Division 4 team in seizing the tanker filled with contraband diesel on Phetkasem road last Friday June 3 to ask that it be released.
He added that after the arresting team refused to comply this same official had contacted a working group under his command to negotiate letting the tanker go but this was again rejected.
“The Highway Police must help change the organisation’s image and build public trust,” he said.
Arrested in the seizure of the oil tanker at 5.30 p.m. on June 3 was Mr. Sombat (surname withheld), 47, on the charges of possessing contraband goods.
This followed a tip off that untaxed oil is being smuggled from the South to Bangkok and its vicinity, especially Pathum Thani province, where it is sold at market price.
There was no invoice for the contraband diesel the tanker was carrying nor a travel schedule with a weight check document also unavailable.
However when the Highway Police team weighed the tanker it came up to 50,030 kilogrammes, which is within the maximum allowed by law.
The tanker carrying contraband diesel being seized at Prachuap Kriri Khan province. Photos: Naewna