Bangkok raids seize 12,000 e-cigarettes near schools

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Bangkok shops located near schools were targeted in a series of raids that resulted in the seizure of an estimated 12,000 e-cigarettes.

With a retail value of approximately 3.6 million baht, these cigarettes were found across five different establishments. The investigation took place last night and involved three stores on Soi Ratchadaphisek in Chatuchak district, one on Soi Lat Phrao 122 in Wang Thong Lang district, and another in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 65, also in Wang Thong Lang.

PM’s Office Minister Phuangphet Chunla-iad shared the raid’s outcome with reporters today. The officials managed to confiscate 20 bags containing over 12,000 e-cigarettes, cleverly disguised to appeal to a younger crowd. The products were craftily packaged to resemble snacks, ordinary pens, or even small milk cartons, making them less suspicious to teachers and more enticing to students.

Phuangphet highlighted the grave threat posed by the nicotine content in e-cigarettes. The substance could potentially damage the brain, hinder development until the age of 25, and increase the risk of addiction to other types of drugs. This alarming revelation underscores the importance of the government’s crackdown on such harmful substances, especially around schools.

The raids were initiated following Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s directive to intensify efforts to curb the smuggling and sale of e-cigarettes. Thasornatt Thanittipun, secretary-general of the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, stated that authorities strictly enforce the Consumer Protection Act against those found selling e-cigarettes.

Violators of the Consumer Protection Act could face up to three years in prison and/or a fine of 600,000 baht. Meanwhile, those found guilty of smuggling e-cigarettes could be slapped with a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or a fine four times the value of the seized goods, as per the Customs Act.

The confiscated e-cigarettes will be turned over to the police and will be destroyed upon the conclusion of the court cases. Employees detained during the raids were from neighbouring countries, and investigations are underway to determine who hired them, reported Bangkok Post.

During the media briefing, Phuangphet displayed some of the seized vaping pens, which bore a logo similar to that of the Move Forward Party. The opposition party was urged to investigate and take appropriate action against those responsible.

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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