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Customs Officials in Hot Water: NACC Reveals 897M Baht Supercar Duty Evasion Scandal

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The Customs Department recently auctioned off a seized Lamborghini, adding yet another chapter to a riveting saga of deceit and high-octane drama. (File photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Seven customs officials have found themselves at the heart of a swirling controversy, accused of aiding supercar importers in dodging a whopping 897 million baht in duty fees by accepting grossly undervalued car evaluations. This bombshell accusation was unveiled by Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, the diligent secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), who spoke out on Tuesday about the deep-seated irregularities surrounding the import of some very luxurious wheels.

Between 2011 and 2014, two companies—Jubilee Line Co and Benznakarin Auto Group—were responsible for importing 29 blindingly fast Lamborghini cars, while Ferma Motor Co brought in 33 sleek Maserati vehicles. These companies seem to have been embroiled in what Niwatchai described as a grand scheme to import these dream machines with almost fairy-tale-like low valuations. This eyebrow-raising tactic didn’t escape the watchful eyes of the NACC, who fingered eight customs officials for turning a blind eye—or perhaps both eyes and ears—to these dubious declarations.

The roll call of the accused reads like the cast list of a gritty crime drama. The implicated officials include Chalit Homhuan, the late Ekasit Ratana, Nitchai Romsukwanasan, Sanongchai Lekklang, Thanapol Maneerat, Apichart Yammanee, Pornchai Kettraitip, and Saranpong Surarat. This ensemble is alleged to have facilitated the import clearance of a staggering 62 cars, all while knowingly rubber-stamping falsified low values. Their actions—or lack thereof—have reportedly cost the Customs, Revenue, and Excise departments a cool 897 million baht, a sum that could make even the most seasoned embezzler blush.

Now, the plot thickens. The NACC isn’t pulling any punches; they’re not just calling out sloppy paperwork. They allege that these officials violated both criminal and anti-corruption laws, and engaged in severe disciplinary missteps. Legal proceedings are set to sail full steam ahead, with the attorney-general sharpening their quills for action. And it doesn’t end there—the NACC is also pressing for disciplinary measures against the higher-ups of these rogue customs officials, sending an unmistakable message up and down the chain of command.

Of course, no story of skullduggery would be complete without the roles of the masterminds behind the curtain—the supercar importers themselves. According to the NACC, these companies didn’t just stand by; they actively supported and encouraged the officials’ rule-bending antics. The 62 cars at the center of this scandal were just the most glaring examples within a larger fleet of 122 Lamborghini and Maserati vehicles imported by the triad of companies under scrutiny. Niwatchai revealed that the NACC has now trained its lens on the remaining 60 cars, looking for any other skeletons hidden in this automotive closet.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this high-stakes saga. With both legal and disciplinary actions hanging in the balance, it promises to be a riveting ride.


  1. Jane Doe June 25, 2024

    Can you believe the sheer scale of this corruption? 897 million baht is a staggering amount!

    • carlover_89 June 25, 2024

      It’s insane. But I’m not surprised; luxury car imports have always been shady.

      • Yoga Enthusiast June 25, 2024

        True, but this kind of amount and the number of people involved is next level.

    • Sam_64 June 25, 2024

      Are you sure about the numbers? Seems exaggerated to me.

      • Jane Doe June 25, 2024

        The numbers come from the NACC, so they should be accurate. The sheer audacity of these officials is jaw-dropping.

      • Thompson June 25, 2024

        Even if it’s less, it’s still a major scandal. No way around it.

  2. Marcus A June 25, 2024

    This is why I don’t trust government officials. They’re all corrupt!

    • Lynn June 25, 2024

      Not all of them, Marcus. There are honest people in every field, but the bad apples always get the spotlight.

      • Marcus A June 25, 2024

        I get that, but when the corruption is this rampant, it’s hard to see the good ones.

      • CaptainLogic June 25, 2024

        You’re painting with too broad a brush, Marcus. The NACC catching these officials is proof there’s systemic checks in place.

  3. EcoMortimer June 25, 2024

    How about channeling that 897 million baht into environmental projects instead of luxury cars? Just a thought.

    • greencities June 25, 2024

      YES! Think about what that money could do for green initiatives. This scandal is infuriating!

    • FlashGordon June 25, 2024

      While I agree, you can’t stop people from wanting luxury cars. Regulating corruption is what’s crucial.

  4. Mira K June 25, 2024

    Good grief, the lengths some people will go for a fancy car. Pathetic.

    • tony_the_tiger June 25, 2024

      People love flaunting wealth, and luxury cars are the ultimate way to do it.

      • Mira K June 25, 2024

        Makes me wonder about the priorities of our society. Status symbols over integrity!

      • realist_rachel June 25, 2024

        Society has always been about status symbols, Mira. Sadly, integrity often takes a back seat.

    • SkepticalPlanner June 25, 2024

      It’s not just about the cars. It’s about the systemic corruption that allows such acts to go unchecked for so long.

  5. Jake J. June 25, 2024

    Does anyone really think the higher-ups didn’t know about this?

    • Helen P June 25, 2024

      Of course they knew. They’re probably the ones benefiting the most!

      • Jake J. June 25, 2024

        Exactly my point! Look at how deep this goes. It’s a power game.

      • whistleblower_7 June 25, 2024

        Higher-ups tend to have layers of insulation. Plausible deniability is their shield.

    • justice_seeker June 25, 2024

      If this is true, the NACC needs to dig deeper and expose everyone involved.

  6. Carl June 25, 2024

    Isn’t it a bit too convenient to have one of the accused being already deceased?

    • Cynic_One June 25, 2024

      Yeah, smells fishy. Wonder if his death had anything to do with the scandal.

      • DetectiveSmith June 25, 2024

        No proof of that yet, but it would be a shocking twist, wouldn’t it?

  7. wanderlust_wendy June 25, 2024

    I feel bad for honest importers. Scandals like these ruin trust in the entire industry.

  8. Joanne June 25, 2024

    What will it take for real reform in customs and import controls?

    • RealTalk June 25, 2024

      It’ll take more than just catching the small fish; they need to overhaul the entire system.

  9. HikerMike June 25, 2024

    Will these officials actually face jail time or just get a slap on the wrist?

    • LawStudent01 June 25, 2024

      If they follow through with the legal proceedings, jail time is definitely a possibility.

    • HikerMike June 25, 2024

      I hope so. They can’t be allowed to just walk away from this.

  10. Jules June 25, 2024

    The role of the companies in encouraging rule-bending is equally despicable. They should be held accountable too.

    • Phoenix_12 June 25, 2024

      Absolutely. It takes two to tango. Those companies are just as guilty.

      • Jules June 25, 2024

        The focus needs to be on both the bribers and the bribed. Real change requires that.

      • JusticeForAll June 25, 2024

        Totally agree, Jules. Holding both parties accountable sets a strong precedent.

  11. Economist_Emily June 25, 2024

    With over 122 luxury cars imported under dubious circumstances, think about the economic disparity this highlights.

    • RichieRich June 25, 2024

      Economic disparity will always exist. Wealth attracts power, and power attracts corruption.

      • Shane June 25, 2024

        But that’s why corruption needs to be curtailed. It exacerbates inequality.

  12. TechGuru101 June 25, 2024

    Modernizing our customs tracking systems might help detect these undervaluations sooner.

  13. ForestFeller June 25, 2024

    It’s always the luxury car importers making headlines for the wrong reasons. What about other industries?

    • EcoMortimer June 25, 2024

      Great point. Every industry has its dark underbelly that needs scrutiny.

  14. PantherGirl June 25, 2024

    I wonder how many other countries have similar issues with importing luxury cars.

    • LionHeart June 25, 2024

      Most likely a lot. Luxury items and corruption seem to go hand in hand globally.

  15. Journalist_Jane June 25, 2024

    The role of the media in exposing such issues is crucial. Stories like these need to be heard far and wide.

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