OFFICIALS in the northeastern Nong Khai province, which borders Laos and is a gateway to Vientiane, the Laotian capital, are rushing to check the source of 98 million baht which 2 Laotian brothers were caught taking across the border via the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, Thai News Agency reported today (Dec. 13).
However officials from the Office of Narcotics Control Board have questioned the 2 brothers and have not found any links to narcotics.
Provincial customs officials found the huge amount of cash in the 2 brothers’ car just as they were about to cross the friendship bridge yesterday, and quickly called the immigration police in to help check this suspicious find.
The 2 brothers told officials that their family runs a money exchange business, and they brought US dollars in to exchange for this amount of Thai baht; at today’s exchange rate this is approximately 3 million US dollars.
They applied for and have been granted bail, but their travel documents have been seized to ensure they do not leave Thailand until this case is over.
Officials are quickly checking which banks these banknotes came from to ascertain whether the brothers really exchanged US dollars to Thai baht as claimed.
The Customs Department said the 2 brothers used the same car to make 9 day trips to Thailand over the past 2 months, which made them suspicious as to whether some money exchange was involved.
Top: Officials show the numerous bundles of Thai baht notes which were found in the 2 Laotian brothers’ car. Photo: Thai News Agency