Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Villagers told to keep an eye on vehicles to prevent theft

Monday, 25 January 2010 20:54 Usa Pichai

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – After a number of motorcycles and cars were stolen in Thailand and transported across the border to Burma, Thai officials have warned villagers living along the border to watch their vehicles.

Thana Wanchai, a Thai villager in Maesot District of Tak Province border with Myawaddy in Burma told Mizzima on Friday that local officials told villagers to watch their vehicles.

“I always lock my motorbike when I go out. Last week my friend’s new two wheeler was stolen,” he said.

On Wednesday, Samart Loifa, Tak Province governor said at a monthly press conference that Myawaddy authorities have been registering motorcycles and cars without finding out the original source of the vehicles from December 2009 to January 2010. The tax rate is only 10 percent of the total cost and from February to March 2010 people will pay 15 per cent. It will keep increasing, according to a report in a Thai news website Manager.

The governor claimed that this policy affected local villagers along the Thai– Burma border in the province. There were several cases of vehicles being stolen, even though the officials attempted to restrict crossing the border on 30 border check points on Meoi River normally used to transport products between the two countries.

“Villagers should be careful of their vehicles, while officials will raise surveillance to bring down the incidence of theft both in the town and along the border,” he said.

Samart added that a report said that in the first half of January 2010, five motorcycles, two trucks, and a container truck were stolen from Mae Sot and Pobphra district.

Earlier, Burmese officials allowed imported cars and motorcycles from Tak province to be used only near the border area but recently it allowed it in other areas of Burma. This led to an increase in the number of new vehicles being registered. These included imported used vehicles from the Thai border such as buses, trucks and sedan cars.

Not only, Tak Province but other borders with Burma face the same problem.

In early January, Sumet Sangnimnual, Chiang Rai province’s governor said Thai officials received eight motorcycles from Burma Tachilek Township police, which were stolen from Thailand. Five suspects were arrested.

According to the governor, the Burmese police said the thieves confessed that they stole motorcycles from Thailand. Later, Burmese officials returned the motorcycles to the Thai police in Maesai, border district with Burma for return to the owners.

On January 17, officials in Maesot also seized a truck parked on the bank of Moei River crossing to Burma but the driver escaped to the Burma side. Thai officials could not chase him because it is the area of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

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