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Phoenix tour boat fails to sell as authorities run up huge storage costs

Phoenix tour boat fails to sell as authorities run up huge storage costs

PHUKET: The Phoenix tour boat, which sank off Phuket in July last year killing 47 Chinese tourists, remains unsold after an auction in May drew no bids as the Anti-Money Laundering Office spends more than B100,000 a month to store it.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 7 June 2019, 05:53PM

The Phoenix tour boat sank about 1.5 nautical miles off Koh Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket on July 5, 2018. Photo: Supplied

The Phoenix tour boat sank about 1.5 nautical miles off Koh Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket on July 5, 2018. Photo: Supplied

Following the disaster on July 5, 2018, raids led to the discovery that the operators of the boat had laundered more than B1 billion. This, in turn, led to the seizure of assets which are being auctioned off by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo). (See story here.)

An official at the Amlo’s trade department said, “The Phoenix tour boat is still at the Rattanachai Shipyard. On May 22 it went up for auction with a starting price of B900,000 but failed to attract any interest.

“The boat will be put up for auction again but I can’t confirm when. Details will be announced on the Amlo website: www.amlo.go.th,” the official said.

Since January of this year alone, the Amlo has spent more than B700,000 renting the space to hold the boat as they struggle to sell it at auction for B900,000.

Zest Real Estate

The boat is being kept at the Rattanachai Shipyard costing the Amlo more than B218,000 every two months to rent the space, as announced yesterday by Peeraphat Ingpongpan, secretary of the Amlo.

Wiwat Chitchertwong, Chief of the Phuket Marine Office, said, “The boat can be renovated or rebuilt for re-registration; it is similar to the registration of a car. However, I don’t think this boat will be used for business again after what happened,” referring to the disaster that caused 47 deaths.

“In addition, the cost of rebuilding the boat is high. Most shipyards will break up a boat like this and use the parts for other boats,” Mr Wiwat added.

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Kurt | 10 June 2019 - 12:03:37

Anyway, who wants to buy this Phoenix wreck? It never will become sea worthy, and if so, no chinese tourist will ever board it.

Kurt | 08 June 2019 - 10:48:15

Looks like AMLO is going to pay more for wreck storage than it ever will earn from selling. Amazing! Was there not a cheaper location to 'store' this wreck? For 60,000 thb per month ( payments in advance) they can store it in the corner of my land, I just will put a hedge in front of it.  hahaha.
But true, sink that thing again at a scuba dive  - reef site.

BenPendejo | 08 June 2019 - 01:22:14

This entire Phoenix debacle has been a monkey show ever since it set out on the fateful day with the cowardly Captain and crew at the helm. Sink it and make a diving memorial, then look at who is enjoying the graft coming off this sweet storage deal. Ridiculous and disgusting levels of incompetence and mismanagement

BosysurfNaiHarn | 07 June 2019 - 19:26:05

What about "wrecks to reefs" program? 

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