A car found buried at a palm plantation in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat has been reported as belonging to a 52 year old American man who left the country 10 years ago.

The bronze BMW had been buried about a metre deep. Police and forensic officers were called to the scene. Once the vehicle was uncovered, officers checked the registration numbers and found the car was owned by an American man named Michael.

Officers went to a home in Phuket that the man used to rent. Neighbours shared that they used to see the man driving the BMW car before, but he left the house long ago.

Reports say that the man travelled out of Thailand through the Suvarnbhumi Airport immigration checkpoint a decade ago on February 12, 2012. Thai authorities are now trying to contact the American for more information. The palm plantation owner will also be investigated to find a connection to the case.

The Commander of Nakhon Si Thammarat Police Station told Thai media that the car might be used for illegal acts and buried to hide the evidence, adding that it could be related to a drug gang and a car dismantling gang. The commander says officers need to do more investigating, but adds that he suspects malintent.