Raids seek out toxic chemicals

Raids seek out toxic chemicals

A Department of Special Investigation team inspects chemicals during a raid on premises linked with the sale of banned farm chemicals. Varuth Hirunyatheb
A Department of Special Investigation team inspects chemicals during a raid on premises linked with the sale of banned farm chemicals. Varuth Hirunyatheb

DSI raided five locations with supposed links to online sales of organic pesticides containing at least two banned toxic farm chemicals.

Two were a shop and a factory in Nakhon Ratchasima, two others were warehouses in Nonthaburi and the fifth a warehouse in Pathum Thani, DSI director-general Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang said.

The warehouses in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani belonged to two different companies, a source said.

Second Lieutenant Thanakrit Chit-arirat, secretary to the justice minister, said paraquat and glyphosate-isopropylammonium were detected in products bought previously from these firms.

The products were tested in a laboratory, he said.

Equipment and materials seized from the raids would be tested in a laboratory for the two chemicals, which would also help trace the origin of the chemicals used, said Tanin Prempree, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Crime.

The National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) last month banned paraquat and glyphosate along with chlorpyrifos.

If the laboratory tests confirm the seized equipment and materials are contaminated with the banned chemicals, their owners will likely face multiple charges of possessing, producing and distributing prohibited chemicals, the DSI director-general said.

They may also face charges for violating the 2007 Computer Act by publishing online false information about their products, which were estimated to have cost up to 10 million baht in losses and affected more than 1,000 people, said Pol Col Paisit.


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