E-cigarette fines rise to discourage sales
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E-cigarette fines rise to discourage sales

The Customs Department will fine e-cigarette importers double an item's value plus tax to discourage further sales among the public, especially teenagers.

Spokesman Panthong Loykulnan said on Saturday that importers of e-cigarettes, barakus or shishas, and e-barakus are now required to pay a fine equivalent to double the value of the price tag, customs tax, and VAT.

All seized items would be considered in the same way as other as goods with import limitations, such as liquor, cigarettes, garlic, onions, shallots, and goods which breach copyright, he said.

This measure comes amid rapid spread of e-cigarettes among teens and students, said Mr Panthong.

On Friday, two cases related to e-cigarettes were reported in Si Sa Ket and Rayong.

In Si Sa Ket, Kom Sangwong, the Muang Si Sa Ket district chief, took officers to raid a shop in the city municipality called Monkey Tattoo after receiving a report of illicit e-cigarette sales.

The authority was able to seize 4,300 pieces of e-cigarette equipment, such as e-cigarette liquids and mouthpieces, as well as 8,595 baht in cash, Mr Kom said.

The shop workers, identified only as Jakkririt, 27; and Arthikom, 35, were arrested for e-cigarette sales and possession of unauthorised cigarettes. They will be required to pay quadruple the price of the seized items or around two million baht, said Mr Kom.

In Rayong, a local authority arrested two suspects, identified as Watcharin Sicharoenpramong, 31, and Natchayanon Wongnoen, 22, for allegedly selling e-cigarettes and e-barakus at their shops in Muang district.

Authorities also seized equipment for e-cigarettes and e-barakus and a list of orders, according to Traipob Wongrat, the province governor.

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