Vietnamese durian vendor in Thailand faces 7 years in jail for tipping the scales

Photo via MGR Online

A sneaky Vietnamese durian vendor is facing a hefty fine and jail term for using doctored weighing scales to trick customers in Thailand. The faulty scales upped the price of the stinky, valuable fruit by 75 baht per sale.

Deputy director-general of the Department of Internal Trade Pol. Lt. Chakra Yodmanee reported that the department sent officials to inspect the scales of a foreign durian peddler in the Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi province.

The officials found that a durian weighing 4 kilogrammes showed up on the scales as weighing 4.5 kilogrammes, increasing the price by at least 75 baht, reports MGR Online.

Police arrested the Vietnamese vendor under suspicion of, “acting in a way to increase the weight of the scales used to trade and sell goods beyond the margin of error with the intention of exploiting customers,” in violation of Section 26, Section 25, and Section 79 of the Weights and Scales Act (1999).

The maximum penalty for the charge is no more than seven years in prison, a fine of no more than 280,000 baht, or both.

In total, 585 people have been arrested under suspicion of violating the Weights and Scales Act since its implementation in Thailand in 1999, according to the Director of the Weights and Measures Division Chatri Areewong.

Last year, 14 people were arrested for tipping the scales, seven of whom were foreigners. The Vietnamese durian vendor in Nonthaburi is the first person arrested under the charge this year.

Director Chatri said…

“This vendor took advantage of customers. The department cannot accept it because there is high demand for the fruit in the market. Durian sells for 150 baht per kilogramme. When thinking about the damage, it’s a loss of 75 baht. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you do it many times, every day, the damage will accumulate.”

The crime also violated Section 270 of Thailand’s Criminal Code regarding “Modified Measuring Equipment…”

“Whoever, with intent to take advantage in trade, uses or has in possession for use of any instrument for weighing, any weight, or any measure which is different from the normal standard; or has such instrument in his or her possession for selling purpose shall be liable to imprisonment for not exceeding three years or a fine of not exceeding 6 thousand baht or both.”

The accused was taken to Bang Yai Police Station to face prosecution.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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