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Corrupt officials ‘helped’ supercar importers

Graft-busters have accused seven customs officials of assisting supercar importers in evading duties amounting to 897 million baht by accepting unrealistically low valuations for the cars.

On Tuesday, Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, the secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), announced that the panel found irregularities in the importation of 29 Lamborghini cars by Jubilee Line Co and Benznakarin Auto Group, and 33 Maserati cars by Ferma Motor Co, between 2011 and 2014.

Mr. Niwatchai stated that the NACC held eight customs officials responsible for acknowledging the unrealistically low valuations. One of these officials has since passed away.

The eight customs officials implicated are Chalit Homhuan, the late Ekasit Ratana, Nitchai Romsukwanasan, Sanongchai Lekklang, Thanapol Maneerat, Apichart Yammanee, Pornchai Kettraitip, and Saranpong Surarat.

From January 17, 2011, to October 28, 2014, these officials allegedly cleared the importation of 62 cars despite knowing that the declared values were too low. This resulted in a revenue loss of 897 million baht to the Customs, Revenue, and Excise departments.

The NACC accused the officials of violating criminal and anti-corruption laws and committing serious disciplinary infractions. The NACC plans to proceed with legal action through the attorney-general and seek disciplinary measures against the superiors of the accused customs officials.

Additionally, the NACC accused the car importers of supporting the alleged offenses by the government officials.

The 62 cars in question are part of 122 Lamborghini and Maserati cars imported by the three companies. Mr. Niwatchai mentioned that the NACC is still examining the details of the remaining 60 cars.

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