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Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

N. Ireland
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990 posts
25 reviews
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Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

Just to let everyone know, don`t be tempted to buy the bumper packs of cigarettes (5 cartons) at the airport. When we landed in BKK yesterday we were nabbed by the police after collecting our bags and fined 24,174.00 baht 400 pound for bringing in more than we were allowed. You are only allowed 1 carton per person! They also conficated the cigarettes not even letting us keep the 2 packs we should have been allowed. So please be warned. The sick thing is they are just as cheap to buy out here.

From one very disgusted Irish tourist. I think their action was way over the top. We were treated like criminals and held for 3 hours.

Other than that enjoy your trip.

PS the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is to die for!

Bangkok
14 posts
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1. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

Yeah

The certain amount of ciggie you can bring is a real pain in the butt!

Normally they dont really strick on this , you must be very very unlucky that day.

London
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8,335 posts
39 reviews
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2. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

As previous comment - you must have been very unlucky to have been stopped going into Bangkok. Did you buy them duty free in U.K. or on arrival at Bangkok - perhaps it was very obvious if you had duty free bag and they felt they had to stop you. Also sounds like bit of a scam but you cant argue with the police.

Semporna, Malaysia
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5,912 posts
43 reviews
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3. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

Hi Paddy,

Maybe the Duty Free bag caught their eyes.

My friend who is a Thai was caught 2 months ago too. He thought he could have bought 2 packs per person, so he bought 11 packs for 4 adults, thinking a little extra wouldn't have been a problem.

It was funny that they reduced the fine amount to 28,000Baht instead of 39,000B. He said if he hadn't paid, he would have been kept in the Police Station for 2 days, and finally still had to pay the fine. So he paid, not wanting to have bad marks on his background (record with Police).

I blamed him for being too easy. If that was me, I would sue them. I bought cigs, not heroin. I myself bought 9 packs for 2 adults and I was ok.

I wonder if calling the Tourist Police could do any help.

land

Semporna, Malaysia
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5,912 posts
43 reviews
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4. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

We bought Mild Seven from Vietnam Duty Free which was US$11 and made in Japan. This kind is very good so we bought quite a lot.

My friend said the fine was calculated 15 times of the value and he had to go with them to their office about 20km from Don Muong.

I just paid my friend 25,000 Baht as he bought them for me. I took out 3,000 B. He has to pay for being caught. Joke but couldn't laugh at this loss.

land

N. Ireland
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990 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

We were a bit ga ga from our long flight but the a thai guy saw the duty free bag and told my husband to put it in his rucksack, which he did not thinking!! Anyway we had been through immigration picked up our suitcases and had met with our driver who was about to take us to the hotel and it was when we were going out of the iarport that the police pounced! The thing is we had 2 rucjsacks with us and they knew exactly which bag they were in so we were indeed set up!!

Lots of people have since told me that we should have called the tourist police as they may have got the fine reduced, even though the tourist police have no power the ordinary police know that the incident will get reported. However, we didn`t know this until after the event, we were also threatened with 2 days in jail. My new knickname at home is now Paris (Paris Bankok Hilton).

Anyway law is law but I would like to contact the Thai Tourist Authority about it if anyone has an e mail address. Apart from that and some severe stormy weather we had a blinding holiday and all my research on the hotels (Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and The Andaman Seaview in Phuket) were spot on they were both beatiful, luxurious and had excellent service.

Semporna, Malaysia
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5,912 posts
43 reviews
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6. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

My friend was also threatened being kept 2 days and he tried to negotiate with them very long. Fine was paid in cash. They didn't take any other kinds.

Same as your case. He finished everything in the airport. He waited for the elevator to go upstairs. He said it’s easy to catch a cab up there. He heard the "clingg" sound that the elevator came. Right that moment he faced his fate. If he had gone out the regular way, he could not have been in trouble.

I opened Google.com, typed in "Thai Tourist Authority" and saw these websites:

www.tat.or.th

www.tourismthailand.org

www.tatnews.org

tourist.police.go.th/eng/index.php

When my friend told me about this, I thought he wanted to tease me as he has a very strong famous lawyer as his close friend. I'm still wondering what police that was but since my friend wants to let the case pass, I have no point making noise.

land

7. Re: Beware!! Extortionate fines for duty free cigs

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