Phuket officials crack down on illegal vape and hookah sales

Picture courtesy of Phuket Info Center

Phuket’s bustling Bangla Road was the scene of a crackdown as Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) officials swooped in last night. Seven individuals, including a foreign national working as a store manager, were apprehended for their involvement in the illicit sale of vaping devices and the provision of hookahs, referred to locally as baraku, for tourists.

Patong Police, responsible for maintaining law and order in the area, have yet to issue an official statement about the operation. The primary objective of this sudden action was to curb the illegal activities concentrated on Bangla Road, especially those revolving around the sale of vaping devices and hookahs.

The seven individuals detained in these raids, one of whom is a foreigner, were reportedly linked to venues involved in the sale of these prohibited items. The nationality of the arrested foreigner was not disclosed in the report. The identities of the other arrestees were also kept confidential, reported The Phuket News.

The sale and use of vaping devices and their associated liquids, while widespread and easily available in Phuket, are considered illegal in the Thai Kingdom. The stringent laws, enacted under Section 242 and Section 246 of the Customs Act B.E. 2017, prohibit the importation of these devices into the country.

Similarly, the provision of baraku or hookahs, despite their popularity, contravenes a regulation implemented by the Ministry of Commerce in 2014. Individuals found in possession of these items face charges related to the illegal importation of goods into Thailand.

In related news, the bustling province of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was the scene of a significant crackdown on illegal goods on November 8, last year.

Thai Anti Trafficking In Persons (ATP) officers swooped in on a private distribution centre in Bang Pa-in, seizing a massive haul of e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and associated equipment. This operation led to the confiscation of 60,500 units of contraband, with the total value of the seized goods exceeding 10 million baht.

Crime NewsPhuket 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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