Mask smugglers caught near Cambodian border
Thai couple found with more than 60,000 Cambodian-made face masks in pickup
published : 20 Mar 2020 at 18:39
writer: Sawat Ketngam
SA KAEO: Two Thais were arrested and more than 60,000 face masks smuggled from Cambodia were seized on Friday in Khok Sung district.
The officers removed a tarpaulin from the back of the vehicle and found 250 boxes containing 2,500 Dami Mask brand masks, 180 boxes containing 9,000 Kenko brand masks, 250 boxes containing 12,500 Eco Fresh masks, and 620 packs containing 31,000 other blue face masks made in Cambodia.
Driver Paisarn Chai-aree, 23, and a woman identified later as Supaporn Sombatmeemak, 29, both from Khok Sung district, told police they had transported the masks from Cambodia via a natural border pass in Ta Phraya district. They claimed they were not aware the masks were contraband items.
Pol Col Chaturaphat Singhassathit, chief of Sa Kaeo police, said on Friday that the suspects failed to produce official documents to support the imports when asked by the police team. They have been charged with smuggling and held at the Khok Sung police station pending further legal action.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought a surge in the demand for face masks from both the general public and health workers. Authorities have launched a crackdown on profiteering and other attempts to exploit the situation, with jail terms handed down to five vendors this week.
Cambodian-made face masks were found concealed in a pickup truck stopped in Sa Kaeo on Friday. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)
Face masks of various brands are displayed following the seizure. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)