Vape escape: Cyber police seize e-cigarettes worth 17 million baht

Image courtesy of Thailand Cyber Police

Cyber police raided two key locations, dismantling a major e-cigarette network and seizing over 80,000 items worth more than 17 million baht. Two suspects were apprehended, claiming they were merely caretakers.

Earlier today at the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) headquarters in Mueang Thong Thani, TCSD Commissioner, Navin Sengsomwong, alongside relevant police authorities and representatives from the National Tobacco Products Control Committee announced the results of Operation Smokeless.

Assistant Commissioner-General of TSCD, Nirandorn Lueamsri stated that the investigation began when officers from TCSD Region 2 arrested a man selling electronic cigarettes online in Songkhla Province on April 23. The investigation revealed connections to a larger network, leading to coordinated raids on two locations in Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok.

The first raid, led by TCSD Region 2 Commander, Suwatchai Srithongsuk, took place at a large rented warehouse in Bang Krathuek, Sam Phran District, Nakhon Pathom.

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The search revealed over 9,000 large boxes containing e-cigarette pods and e-liquids from numerous brands Additionally, over 43,000 e-liquids and pods boxes, were found hidden in a delivery pickup truck nearby, which was ready for delivery.

Authorities seized all e-cigarette items and arrested 44 year old warehouse overseer, Thanochot, along with the 53,000 e-cigarette items worth over 8 million baht.

The second raid, executed with a warrant from the Criminal Court, took place at a house in a village in Dokmai, Prawet District, Bangkok. Various e-cigarettes, including disposable pods and e-liquid from prominent brands were discovered. Officers seized over 37,000 e-cigarette items valued at 8.9 million baht and arrested 30 year old Natthaporn.

Over 80,000 e-cigarette items worth more than 17 million baht were confiscated from both locations. The suspects claimed they were only caretakers, but authorities remain unconvinced and are continuing to investigate.

Member of the National Tobacco Products Control Committee, Dr Panadda Wongphudee, highlighted the growing concern over e-cigarettes, noting the increasing number of students becoming users each year. She urged parents to educate their children about the dangers and health risks associated with e-cigarettes.

The suspects are being charged with violating the Consumer Protection Board’s Order against selling banned e-cigarettes and related products, as per the Protection Board’s Order, and with smuggling prohibited goods into the Kingdom under Section 246 of the Customs Act (2017).

The suspects and the seized items have been handed over to TCSD Region 2 investigators for further legal action, reported KhaoSod.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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