Vape trails go up in smoke: Police puff out a e-cigarette distribution network in Bangkok busts

Picture courtesy of Thailand Travel.

A significant e-cigarette distribution network has been dismantled by the police, following a series of raids in Bangkok. The leader of the network, 32 year old Jenkij Hom-aroon, was apprehended during the operation that occurred yesterday.

The Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) spearheaded the operation, acting on information related to the Iqos Thailand FanClub. This Facebook group was identified as the platform used by the network to sell and market e-cigarette modules and cartridges online.

Two locations were raided by the authorities, a condominium in the Bang Kho Laem district and a house on Nawamin Soi 42 in the Bueng Kum district. Both these locations were reportedly used for storage and distribution of the e-cigarettes. Major General Withaya Sriprasertsap, the CPPD commander, confirmed this information.

More than 70,000 e-cigarette modules and cartridges were seized during the operation. The estimated value of the confiscated goods is around 10 million baht. Following his arrest, Jenkij was charged with the distribution of e-cigarettes and cartridges, items considered illegal in the kingdom. He was subsequently taken to the CPPD Sub-Division 1’s office.

In related news, Dr Thossaporn Sereerak, Pheu Thai MP for Phrae, expressed his concern over the growing prevalence of e-cigarettes during a Parliament meeting on Wednesday. He highlighted that these products are becoming increasingly accessible to individuals under 20 years old.

“Even primary school students have been found to use e-cigarettes. I have received many complaints from parents who are concerned about how easy it is to purchase e-cigarettes online and why our officers aren’t doing anything to deal with the matter.”

He proposed that the parliament be designated as an e-cigarette-free zone, given the fact that some ministers and MPs have been observed vaping. He emphasised the need for these individuals to serve as role models.

Dr Thossaporn also underscored the harmful effects of nicotine, particularly its addictive nature and its potential to impede children’s brain development.

However, Maris Karanyawat, a representative from the Facebook group End Cigarette Smoke Thailand, presented a contrasting viewpoint. He noted that e-cigarette bans in various countries have produced similar outcomes.

Maris pointed out that countries like the United Kingdom and the United States have legalised e-cigarettes, which has enabled them to regulate the distribution of these products more effectively and collect taxes. He argued that such measures are more effective in preventing minors from accessing e-cigarettes.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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