Narin Kalayanamit, advisor on customs-control systems development, said the boat captain, Nattapol Chuensanguan, 40, and crewman Thanakorn Bapimai, 50, were arrested while waiting for customers. He said the boat and fuel were worth approximately 2.5 million baht.
A police informant alerted authorities about a fishing boat selling illegal diesel in the waters of Sattahip bay so police hunted for the boat. They found many of 1,000-litre plastic tanks in the boat totalling approximately 20,000 littres worth around 600,000 baht.
A preliminary investigation showed that the boat has travelled between Chon Buri and Prachuap Khiti Khan, as well as between Chon Buri and Trat for several times in a month in order to sell diesel to fishing boats along the route.
The boat received the illegal diesel from a ship anchored outside Thai waters and sells it for four baht cheaper than the market. Each trip, the owner gets around 800,000 baht in sales, investigators said.
Police have charged the two with smuggling in diesel without paying customs duty.