11 July 2024

The commander of the Marine Police Division, Pol Maj-Gen Pruetthipong Nutchanart, has been transferred to the Central Investigation Bureau’s (CIB) operations centre to ensure transparency in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance on June 11th of three impounded vessels, loaded with about 330,000 litres of diesel and moored at Sattahip pier.

The temporary transfer was ordered by CIB Commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej following the earlier transfer of four other officers attached to the Sattahip Marine Police, including their superintendent, two days after the three vessels, namely JP, Sea Hot and Dao Rung, carrying 80,000, 150,000 and 100,000 litres of smuggled diesel respectively, went missing.

Pol Col Pornsak Laoruchiralai, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, has been assigned to head the Marine Police Division on a temporary basis, pending the completion of the investigation.

The Marine Police ordered a massive hunt for the vessels, which were initially heading for Cambodia but changed course into Malaysian waters.

The three vessels were eventually found in Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, were recovered, with the help of Malaysian officials and towed to the Marine Police pier in Songkhla province.

Marine Police sources say the diesel stored on the three boats had already been sold before they were recaptured.