IB to crack down on hoarders

IB to crack down on hoarders

The Immigration Bureau (IB) is stepping up its crackdown on people who hoard medical supplies, engage in price gouging, and use bogus websites to solicit donations to help Covid-19 patients or hospitals.

Pol Col Phakkhapong Sai-ubon, deputy spokesman of the IB, said bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang had ordered officers to step up efforts against those profiting from the virus, including hoarding masks, hand sanitisers, ethyl alcohol and gloves.

He said officers have been told to expand their investigations and determine if foreign investors are linked to such activities. They have also been told to work closely with the Commerce Ministry.

Pol Col Phakkhapong said the IB will also focus its investigations on scammers who ask for donations to buy supplies for hospitals or people in need as well as those who spread fake news.

He said the public should be vigilant and encouraged them to report suspicious activities to the IB or other state authorities.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai secretary-general Anudit Nakhonthap said the House committee on corruption, which is looking into the shortage of face masks, has found irregularities concerning the import of surgical ones.

One involves the import of 200 tonnes of masks between Jan 27 and Feb 4, just before the Feb 5th deadline of the items being reclassified as price-controlled products.

He said the rush to import face masks has led to suspicions that the importers might have been tipped off about the regulation.

The Pheu Thai secretary-general also thanked the government for following the party's recommendations for alleviating hardship of people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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