Cops make further arrests in crackdown on mask hoarders
Police have confiscated nearly 130,000 surgical face masks in Sa Kaeo and Chon Buri and charged a number of suspects with smuggling and contravening price controls on the product since Thursday.
The Sa Kaeo provincial police and Sa Kaeo immigration police on Thursday arrested Paisan Jaiaree, 23 and Supaporn Sombatmeemak, 30, after catching them smuggling face masks from Cambodia via a natural path to sell at Rong Kluea market in Khok Sung and Ta Phraya districts.
Both confessed, telling officers that they had been paid 2,000 baht to carry 65,000 masks from Cambodia. They said they had made the journey three times.
On the same day, local police in Sa Kaeo also arrested Wutthee Wong, 41, a Cambodian national, after he was stopped in his vehicle on a road near the Ta Phraya border post.
Police pressed charges against him for colluding in smuggling and confiscated the Isuzu pick-up truck he was driving and the 22,500 face masks that were loaded on it.
Meanwhile, in Chon Buri, provincial police yesterday arrested Yupa Saraewong, 46, at her home in Si Racha district and confiscated 42,000 surgical masks.
The police said Ms Yupa confessed to the crime and told police that the masks were going to be sent to a factory in tambon Bowin.
She was charged with violating the Price of Goods and Services Act 1999 which makes it illegal for individuals or businesses to hoard or profiteer from items that have been placed on the controlled goods list.
Violators face a possible jail term of up to seven years and a fine of up to 140,000 baht.