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.
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.