Chinese tourists wrongly fined 60,000 baht for carrying vapes, says law expert

Vaporiser fine

A group of Thai tour guides revealed that a group of Chinese tourists were fined 60,000 baht for carrying vapes in Pattaya. The police also gave a 50% discount and let the tourists pay only 30,000 baht.

According to Thai law, Thai police cannot arrest or fine foreigners with vapes. They have to report the issue to the court.

The committee member of the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand, Paisarn Suethanuwong, joined a news show on Channel 3 named Hone Kra Sae today to share his views on the Taiwanese actress’ extortion case.

During the interview, Paisarn revealed that he received a similar complaint from a group of Thai tour guides in Pattaya.

The Thai guides shared with Paisarn that their Chinese customers carried and used e-cigarettes in Pattaya and were subsequently fined 60,000 baht several days ago.

The Chinese tourists negotiated with the police officers and got a 50% discount. They paid the officers 30,000 baht which was pretty expensive in the tour guides’ opinion.

Paisarn said…

“The fine on e-cigarette charge is unbelievably expensive. It is a gap for corrupt officers to gain benefits. Some foreign tourists do not know that vaporisers are illegal in Thailand because they are sold everywhere.”

The minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, confirmed to Channel 7 today that Thai police cannot arrest or fine foreign tourists who carry vaporisers even if it is illegal in Thailand.

Phiphat said that the police must report the case to the court and let the court process the case. The minister did not give the details on how the case would be continued by the court.

A famous Thai lawyer, Kirdphon Kaewkird, explained that the Customs Department is responsible for the fine in this case. Police officers are responsible for recording the charge, seizing the illegal vapes, and submitting the issue to the court.

According to Section 20 of the Export and Imports of Goods (1979), whoever imports or exports illegal goods shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of five times more expensive than the price of the goods, or both.

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.