BANGKOK – Vehicle theft syndicates in Malaysia are not limiting their so-called ‘business’ just to the closest neighbouring country, Thailand, but are believed to have expanded even to Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
A source who disclosed the syndicates’ modus operandi said, chances would be very slim to find back the stolen vehicles if they had reached those Indochina countries.
He believed that the vehicle theft syndicates in these countries had a strong networking among them which complicated the authorities’ effort in handling the cross border crime.
“It is believed, that the cars stolen in Malaysia will be transported via the sea by container ship from Singapore.
“Then, it will stop at its first destination, Thailand. It is also believed that Laem Chabang Port, in Thailand is their main destination (to unload the stolen vehicles),” he told Bernama, recently.
Depending on the situation, the source said, parts of the stolen vehicles in the container would be unloaded in Thailand, and the remaining would continue their journey to the Indochina countries.
If the cars were not sold in Thailand, there were also possibilities of the unloaded stolen vehicles being smuggled into its neighbouring countries by land.
Thailand shares land border with three Indochina countries, namely Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, possibly as the final destinations for the stolen vehicles, he said.
“If it reached those countries, the chances to find them back are as good as nothing,” he said, adding that information on the stolen vehicles in the three Indochina countries would also be hard to obtain.
According to him, one of the latest and popular trends to sell or ‘dispose’ of stolen Malaysian vehicles in Thailand was through online websites.
Early this month, Thai police handed over 22 stolen Malaysian vehicles worth RM2.2mil found in that country to the Malaysian police.
While last year, Thailand authorities managed to seize 18 luxury vehicles believed to be smuggled by the syndicates via Laem Chabang Port, he said.
The 18 cars, he said, were believed to be only part of 43 luxury vehicles from Malaysia smuggled into Thailand via a container ship, which departed from Singapore.
“However, the remaining 25 car failed to be traced until today,” he said.
Similarly for the past several years, he noted that a number of luxury cars and multi-purpose vehicles believed stolen in Malaysia were found driven by new owners at the Myanmar-Thai border, Cambodia and Laos.
He said stolen four-wheeled drive vehicles were very popular on the Myanmar’s black market while luxury cars and MPVs were famous among Cambodia’s black market customers.
There were also allegations saying that the stolen vehicles were used by the high-ranking police, armed forces and government officers in certain Indochina countries with new registration. – BERNAMA