Central Thailand: Thai Revenue Department clarifies controversial Huai Khwang restaurant raid

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

The Revenue Department has clarified the controversial issue involving six men, alleged to be its officials, who raided a restaurant in Huai Khwang district and seized a liquor license. The department has assured there was no ill intention behind the action and it was conducted in good faith today.

Pakapoom Tantanaserikul, Secretary of the Department, acting as Deputy Spokesperson, yesterday revealed that online news had reported a case where a Chinese restaurant operator in Huai Khwang district had complained to the suppression command after being raided by four to five men claiming to be Revenue Department officials. They inspected the restaurant and took the liquor and tobacco sales licenses with them.

The Revenue Department has clarified the facts as follows: upon inspection, it was found that the persons appearing in the news were officials from the Revenue Department, Office of Revenue Region 10, consisting of six individuals, including two civil servants, two temporary employees, and two drivers. The images appearing in the online media were taken during the inspection of liquor and tobacco sales licenses at a Chinese restaurant in Huai Khwang district.

During the operation, four officials entered the restaurant and asked to inspect the liquor and tobacco sales licenses. They found the license was valid and asked the restaurant owner to sign the search warrant. No case was filed for any reason.

Regarding the suspicion that the restaurant’s liquor and tobacco sales licenses were taken away, the officials explained that there was no ulterior motive, but it was due to an accident during the performance of their duties. The officials have returned the licenses to the restaurant owner.

As for the case where the victim claimed that the officials went up to the second floor without permission, the department explained that the said restaurant has two floors. While the second floor was not open for service during the search, under Article 123 of the Excise Tax Act, B.E. 2560, the officials could inspect illegal items during the business hours of the establishment without a search warrant and had informed the restaurant owner beforehand.

Lawful government regulations

The department insists that the officers’ actions were lawful and in accordance with government regulations. The officers had no intention of causing damage to the operator.

Regarding the operator’s concern about the seized liquor and tobacco sales licenses, the department clarified that the officers could not use such licenses to file any case against the operator because the operator complied with all laws, reported KhaoSod.

The department would like to inform operators that if their liquor and tobacco sales licenses are lost, they can apply for a new license at the local Revenue Office where their shop is located. As for the case where some officials behaved inappropriately, particularly not wearing uniforms while on duty, the department will punish them according to government regulations without exception.

It will instruct Revenue Department officials nationwide to perform their duties strictly according to government regulations. If any official is found to behave inappropriately or violate morality, strict disciplinary action will be taken.

Anyone who witnesses wrongdoing by Revenue Department officials or sees a violation of excise law can report it to the hotline 1713.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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