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80 million baht of vaping gear and e-cigarettes seized in an around Bangkok

Vaping in Thailand
Vaping in Thailand remains illegal, officially

On Saturday, police in Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom, to the west of the city, confiscated vaping devices and accessories valued at over 80 million baht during a series of raids. According to Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau deputy commissioner Maj-General Pairoj Sukruaythanachote, three locations, including a warehouse, were searched in Nakhon Pathom’s main city district.

Two people were arrested, with about 50 million baht worth of vaping devices and accessories being confiscated.

In Bangkok, police searched a condominium in Ratchathewi district and confiscated vaping devices and accessories valued around 50 million baht. A suspect was also arrested during the raid. Those arrested were charged with importing prohibited items, violating the Consumer Protection Act and the Export-Import Act.

The police are still conducting further investigations to find other individuals involved in the illegal trade.

It is a violation of the Customs Act to possess or smoke a vaping device, according to Cyber Crime Investigation Division 1 commander Maj-General Chatpuntakan Klaiklueng.

“Individuals found in possession of vaping devices could face up to five years in prison, as well as a fine of four times the value of the vaping device. Smoking e-cigarettes in public also violates the Tobacco Control Law.”

Both e-cigarettes and their liquid refills remain illegal in Thailand. However, vaping devices and refills can still be found on sale throughout the country, in markets and often openly in small retail shops. Foreign tourists can be particularly vulnerable to corrupt police officers who may demand bribes in exchange for turning a blind eye to possession of e-cigarettes.

In January, Taiwanese actress Charlene An accused seven Bangkok policemen of extorting 27,000 baht from her and her friends for possession of vaping devices – the case has ended up with 7 police who were in attendance at the checkpoint being charged with extortion.

Thailand maintains its strict ban on e-cigarettes and vaping, with severe penalties for those caught possessing or smoking such devices. These recent raids demonstrate the government’s commitment to enforcing the ban and cracking down on illegal activity related to e-cigarettes… despite may Thais and foreigners still wandering around openly vaping and the products available in many markets.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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