Chart (last name withheld), aged 36, a local of Kanchanaburi’s Sangkhlaburi district, was stopped by police near the Thai-Myanmar border checkpoint in Nong Lu subdistrict before officers made the glittering discovery.
The gold bars were promptly confiscated as evidence.
Police reportedly said they had tracked down the suspect following an intelligence report about a smuggling network that was transporting gold bars to Myanmar without going through customs procedures.
Chart reportedly confessed that he was paid Bt6,000 by a woman who, he claimed, owned a gold shop in Payathonzu, a town in southern Myanmar’s Karen state. He said she hired him to buy gold bars worth Bt28 million from a shop in Bangkok’s Yaowarat area and smuggle them across the border to her.
“The suspect also said that had done the job twice this month. The first time, on March 3, he smuggled four gold bars worth Bt6.4 million, and on March 5 he smuggled another five gold bars worth Bt7.4 million into Myanmar,” a police officer said.
Police are investigating the suspect’s employer and her motive for buying gold bars. They speculated it could be due to the political unrest in Myanmar, which has driven some businesspeople to convert their cash into gold bars, which are easier to transport or hide.
Published : March 11, 2021
By : THE NATION