Tobacco giant sees fines cut

Tobacco giant sees fines cut

The Appeal Court this week lowered a fine slapped on Philip Morris (Thailand) Ltd from 1.2 billion baht to 121 million baht for customs violations regarding cigarette imports from the Philippines.

In November 2019, the Criminal Court found the tobacco giant guilty of evading taxes and ordered it to pay the 1.2-billion-baht fine.

In the ruling, the court dismissed the charges against seven employees due to a lack of clear evidence. Both the prosecution and the company appealed.

On Wednesday, the Appeal Court stood by the guilty ruling against Philip Morris (Thailand) but lowered the fine. It also instructed the authorities to pay rewards to those who provided tips leading to the arrests.

The prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Philip Morris (Thailand) and seven of its employees in 2016 for inaccurate price declarations on cigarettes imported from the Philippines from July 2003 to June 2006. The eight defendants denied the charges.

According to the lawsuit, Philip Morris (Thailand) set the price of L&M cigarettes imported from the Philippines at 5.88 baht, while other importers declared the same brand of cigarettes at 16.81 baht per packet.

The tobacco firm also declared the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) rate on Marlboro from the Philippines at 7.76 baht per packet, far lower than the 27.46 baht reported by other importers.

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