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Phuket Chinese tour group seized assets sell-off raises B200mn

Phuket Chinese tour group seized assets sell-off raises B200mn

PHUKET: The last of the assets seized by Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) from the now-defunct Phuket-based 'zero-baht' Chinese tour operator Tranlee Travel Co Ltd went under the hammer yesterday (Mar 20), bringing the total raised to state coffers to more than B200 million.

Chinesetourismtransportcrimeeconomics
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 21 March 2017, 11:08AM


The auction, held at the Phuket City Municipality offices in Phuket Town, was the fourth and final session to see all 151 assets seized in raids last year auctioned off, with yesterday’s session raising more than B18mn.

The auction yesterday saw 15 buses sold, some with “T L Better Way” emblazoned in Thai script on their sides. Unlike previous sessions, only 16 bidders attended the auction.

Paworanan Thammanyutanan, chair of the Amlo committee tasked with holding the auctions, pointed out that the mass sell-off of seized assets was at the order of Amlo chief Pol Gen Chaiya Siriamphankul.

Ms Paworanan hailed the auctions as a success, noting that closing bids were consistently higher than bid start prices.

“The assets sold at this fourth session raised B18,470,000, but the starting bids for the 15 buses totalled B15,055,000,” she said.

“In total, from the 151 assets sold, the return to the government was B204,894,000 from total listed prices of B157,704,000, so, the net gain was more than 29.92%. I would say that the auctions achieved their goal,” Ms Paworanan added.

The first auction, held Sept 6 last year, raised more than B71mn. (See story here.)

That auction followed more than 100 officers including police, military and Amlo officials raiding companies operating under the Tranlee Travel Co Ltd network of businesses at Rassada and Koh Siray, on the east side of Phuket Town, on July 6. (See story here.)

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