Army spokesman Winthai Suvaree said on Saturday (July 1) that authorities had found nine sets of forged documents claiming the department had auctioned off the vehicles, even though no auctions had taken place.
Details of the vehicles in the documents, including chassis and engine numbers, did not match those of any of the department’s vehicles, he said. The forged documents were dated from late 2015.
The Land Transport Department is still investigating the origins of the vehicles, which were offered to buyers at unusually low prices, raising suspicions that some may have been stolen originally.
The alleged forger has been suspended and a superior officer has proposed that the Defence Ministry dismiss him, said Col Winthai.
Media reports identified the colonel as Phopkrit Phanyos, a 50-year-old deputy director of the Army Transport Department.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) found that the illegally registered vehicles were sold for between B500,000 and B1 million each, lower than their normal market prices. Authorities believe there were about 10 accomplices in the case.
Sanit Phromwong, director-general of the Land Transport Department, said that of the 1,136 suspicious vehicles, his department had already registered 605. It has since revoked the registrations.
Mr Sanit said documents were submitted for registration in 15 provinces. The vehicles consisted of 311 cars, 284 trucks and 10 buses. Officials are conducting further investigations to determine how many of the vehicles had been stolen or evaded tax.
Most of the registered vehicles were in Tak, Chon Buri, Ang Thong, Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom provinces, he added.
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