Contraband cigarettes, whisky seized in Hat Yai

Contraband cigarettes, whisky seized in Hat Yai

Police and excise officials gather outside Black Store, one of the three shops raided in Hat Yai on Monday night for selling smuggled liquor and cigarettes.(Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
Police and excise officials gather outside Black Store, one of the three shops raided in Hat Yai on Monday night for selling smuggled liquor and cigarettes.(Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: Smuggled cigarettes and liquor worth about 5 million baht was seized during overnight raids on three shops in Hat Yai district that have been searched for contraband three times previously this year, police said.

A combined force of local police and excise officials raided the Chivas and Black stores and an unnamed third store in the Talat Mai area of this southern business district about 11pm on Monday, said Pol Col Kittichai Sangkhathawon, chief of the Hat Yai police station.

These three shops were amongst Hat Yai’s biggest sellers of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes and had previously been raided for suspected import tax evasion at least three times this year, he said.

Seized in Monday night’s raids were 10 cases of bottled of whisky and 100 cases of cigarettes, he said. They were found to be untaxed imported brands with a combined value of more than 5 million baht.

Two cars suspected to have been used in smuggling the cigarettes and whisky were also confiscated.

The searches followed a tip-off these stores had ordered smuggled products ahead of the New Year festival, when sales are expected to surge.

The shops were found to have sold imported whisky at about half the average price of legally imported whisky and packets of imported cigarettes as cheap as 20 baht, he said.

The confiscated goods were taken to the Excise Department’s Region 9 office in Hat Yai. The shop owners will be summonsed to answer charges.




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