Masks, hand gel and PPE gear worth B5m seized

Masks, hand gel and PPE gear worth B5m seized

Items on state price-control list found in townhouse in Thawi Watthana

Officials from the Department of Special Investigation and other agencies inspect cardboard boxes containing seized medical supplies at a townhouse in Thawi Watthana district of Bangkok on Friday. (Photo supplied by King-oua Laohong)
Officials from the Department of Special Investigation and other agencies inspect cardboard boxes containing seized medical supplies at a townhouse in Thawi Watthana district of Bangkok on Friday. (Photo supplied by King-oua Laohong)

The Department of Special Investigation has seized 5 million baht worth of face masks, hand sanitiser and protective clothing and arrested a man during a raid on a townhouse in Thawi Watthana district of Bangkok.

DSI officers, police and officials from the Internal Trade Department and the Food and Drug Administration searched the two-storey townhouse, where they found many products on the state price-control list, said Trairit Temahiwong, the acting DSI chief. Ton Obpin, who claimed to be the owner of the products, was arrested.

The officers seized 28,250 face masks stored in 565 boxes, many bottles of alcohol gel in various brands, 8,200 packs of face mask filters, and 1,800 PPE (personal protective equipment) suits. The seized products were worth about 5 million baht.

Hoarding and profiteering on essential medical equipment has become a serious global problem since the outbreak of the coronavirus late last year.

The raid took place after the DSI received information that protective goods stored at the site lacked the proper permits, said Dr Trairit. Some products did not meet the requirements of Thai laws including the Medical Devices Act and the Cosmetics Act.

Authorities plan to expand the investigation to determine whether there were other offences related to product standards and labelling, said the acting DSI chief.

(Photo supplied by King-oua Laohong)

PPE suits are among the products seized from a townhouse in Bangkok. (Photo supplied by King-oua Laohong)


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