Three arrested after raids in Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok
Police have arrested three suspects and seized e-cigarettes and related items worth over 80 million baht during raids in Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok.
In Nakhon Pathom, officers from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) searched three locations — a commercial building, a house and a warehouse — in Muang district and arrested two women.
Seized were 88,214 e-cigarette refill cartridges, 70,589 e-cigarette devices, 17,630 disposable e-cigarettes, and 10,350 other related items, worth about 50 million baht in total, Pol Maj Gen Pairoj Sukruaythanachot, deputy commander of the CCIB, said on Saturday.
The two suspects were identified as Narin Humphrae, 25, and Weerawan Leephasuk, 33.
In Bangkok, police raided a condominium on Phaya Thai Road in Ratchathewi district and arrested Yutthaphum Thongyoi, 47. Seized were 537 e-cigarettes, chargers and related products worth a combined 30 million baht, said Pol Maj Gen Pairoj.
All three suspects were being held in police custody to face charges of violating the Customs Act for importing prohibited products and other related laws.
Pol Maj Gen Chatpanthakarn Khlaiklueng, commander of CCIB Division 1, said those found in possession of e-cigarettes were liable to a jail term of up to five years and a fine of four times the price plus unpaid tax.
The investigation is being extended to arrest others involved, authorities said.
The widespread availability of e-cigarettes in Thailand, despite their illegality, has been a subject of considerable debate. The issue came into the spotlight earlier this year when a Taiwanese actress said she and her friends were extorted by police officers who found them with vaping devices.
The actress’s companion said at the time he didn’t realise he had done anything wrong since he’d bought the device in Bangkok.
E-cigarettes, refill liquid containers and related smoking products are found in cardboard boxes at one of four locations raided by police. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)