Rice thieves caught on Koh Sichang

A gang of thieves has been busted on Koh Sichang, off Chon Buri province, after stealing nearly 200 bags of rice already consigned to a ship for export.

Sriracha marine police reported that Suthat Pongsai, 54, Tanin Jong-ararm, 53 and Tarit Ponsgsai, 24, had been arrested. The three men were said to be members of the so-called "Seal Gang", a criminal group known to have engaged in heists and smuggling.

They were caught in Sriracha district along with 199 bags of stolen rice worth 160,000 baht. The vehicles used in the crime included a modified long tail boat and two pickup trucks.

According to cargo ship operators, there have been at least 10 thefts of rice recently, but until now no culprit had been caught. The police believe the arrested suspects are part of a much larger ring. Some had prior records for stealing sugar.

This type of crime is considered damaging to Thailand's reputation in international trade as Thai exporters would be liable for the missing goods.

The exporter said that the stolen rice was part of a 121,000 bag shipment destined for Africa. It was taken while the ship was anchored just off the island's coast.

Related search: crime, rice, export, theft, crime

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