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Fined 15,000 Baht For "smuggling"

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I hesitate to post this personal experience as I am sure it will attract some smart arse comments. I guess I finally decided to post to enable
my experience to serve as a warning to others.



Anyway, went to the border market yesterday in the jungle near Ban Kruat. For those who don't know it, it is about 10 km through Ban Kruat and a
market is held on Friday and Saturday mornings. It is actually in Cambodia and one of your group has to leave ID at the border point in exchange for a number. You then drive into the woods for almost 1km before parking up and walking into Cambodia.



The market is well used by local Falangs who can buy a carton of ciggies for 110 Baht, wine for 200 to 500 Baht and 3 cans of Angkor or Leo for50 Baht. Copy dvds are 20 Baht and bargains can be had on charcoal,chicken feed, straw roof panels and wooden handles for tools etc etc



They are VERY strict on what you can take out and each individual has their bags checked to ensure that the carton of fags, 4 cans of beer, 1
bottle of liiquor etc is not exceeded.



I took the missus, 2 sisters, a friend and two kids. Five adults.



I did what I have done before - bought 20 cans of Angkor (packed 4 per bag) and 5 cartons of Marlborough lights - also packed in individual bags. When we left each adult took out their allotted allowance.



Headed back home and dropped off the passengers. The missus and I decided to go and eat at Deiters restaurant in Prakhonchai. From there I called my
friend and said I would drop round some ciggies for him - I don't smoke!



As I pulled up outside his house two grey 'customs' vehicles sped up the drive and ordered us out of the car. They took out the 5 cartons ofciggies and accused us of smuggling. They were not interested in my story about the cigarettes being brought in legally to Thailand and one smart-arsed xxxx just kept shrugging his shoulders and saying "I no see 5 people - I see only 2 people and 5 cartons of cigarettes".



Obviously some discussion and debate took place. We established that the going rate for a 'smuggling' fine was 35,000 Baht. It seemed that 28,000 might be acceptable. My suggestion to the missus to give them 2,000 Baht and tell them to f£$% off was not well received.



We also established that we could go to court (some time next week) but in the meantime te car could be impounded and I was concerned about the possibility of one, or both of us, being incarcerated.



To cut a long story a bit shorter, the missus finished up paying 14,355 Baht - which I discovered from talking to a friend (who had a friend go through this) was something of a result.



Here we go then - what did I do wrong?

Edited by metisdead

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Wow.

What was the time frame from crossing back into Thailand to pulling up at your friends house.

Defo something fishy here mate.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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I assume they confiscated the contraband as well? Quids in all round.

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Who dobbed you in?

At the border market there is a"snitch". He is well known to the Falangs and I thought he was perhaps a Cambodian who earned a 'cut' on tip offs.

I now believe he is Thai and maybe part of the customs team. Cannot be 100% sure but I think he followed me back towards Prakhonchai, saw me drop off the family members and then waited while we had our meal. I am pretty certain that as I got into my car he was lurking at a nearby Thai shop. He wasn't wearing his customary woolly hat but I thought he looked very similar (regrettably the Penny did not drop at this point!). I guess he must have phoned the local Customs guys because they came from the amphur offices just outside Prakhonchai. Prakhonchai is about 40km from the border market.

He could not have been certain that the ciggies had not been taken taken by the family but I guess there is a very probability that the fags would finish up in the Falangs possession.

Next time I go I am thinking about buying 5 cartons of fags, walking up to the 'snitch' and saying "Look, I have another 5 cartons - fancy a run out to Prakhonchai you b4stard?". This time I would leave each adult to take their own carton home and I would pick up at a later date !!

By the way, this is not just a Falang targeted thing - I have heard of several Thais being stopped - usually from the border at Chong Chom, and they usually have to pay a lot more than I did.

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Just a scam .theives whether it was fake or genuine customs officials the 14000 baht was pocketed by them . This is the LOS .AND IT AINT SMILES

Sent from my GT-S7500L using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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Thank you for sharing this!

How far from the border inland did the confiscation happened?

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Just a scam .theives whether it was fake or genuine customs officials the 14000 baht was pocketed by them . This is the LOS .AND IT AINT SMILES

Sent from my GT-S7500L using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

Money paid over at Prakhonchai police station - I have a receipt.

Your point remains valid.

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Thank you for sharing this!

How far from the border inland did the confiscation happened?

About 40 km.

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I assume they confiscated the contraband as well? Quids in all round.

They gave me 2 of the 5 cartons back !

Never touched the 20 cans of Angkor beer......

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Next time I go I am thinking about buying 5 cartons of fags, walking up to the 'snitch' and saying "Look, I have another 5 cartons - fancy a run out to Prakhonchai you b4stard?". This time I would leave each adult to take their own carton home and I would pick up at a later date !!

Getting smart to the face of Thai criminals who are working with bent criminal officers.

Not advisable Jim.

Just take it as a lesson in how Thais really are.

Iknow, i know - I was just looking for some childish satisfaction out of this wai.gif

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