Thailand government warns of jail time for selling unripe durian

Stock photo by Jim Tao for Unsplash

It’s durian season in Thailand, and the government is reminding farmers and vendors that they can go to jail for harvesting and selling unripe durian. Yes, they said jail. There’s even a minimum level of dryness of the fruit’s flesh set by Thai authorities to determine the freshness of each variety.

Durian is known as the “king of fruit” with a pungent smell so strong that it is banned at many hotels and even Bangkok’s MRT mass transit system. While ripe durian has a unique taste with a rich custard texture, unripe durians with pale flesh do not taste good.

Selling unripe durian carries a penalty of up to three years in jail and a fine of up to 60,000 baht as it deceives the buyer about the quality of the fruit, according to Thailand’s Penal Code. Those selling unripe durians can also face charges under the Consumer Protection Act which prohibits sellers from providing false information about the product and carries an up to six-month jail sentence and a fine of up to 100,000 baht.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry issued a statement reminding farmers and sellers that they can face up to three years in jail for selling unripe durians, adding that repeat offenders will face harsher penalties.

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Authorities will be more on the lookout for the unripe fruit in Trat, Chanthaburi and Rayong provinces which are known as key areas for durian. For popular varieties, officials have even set harvesting schedules and a minimum percentage of dryness for the fruit. The Kradum variety can be harvested from March 20 with a dryness of at least 27%. The “Chanee” and “Puang Manee” can be harvested from April 10 with a dryness of at least 30%. The “Mon Thong” can be harvested from April 25 with a dryness of at least 32%.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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