Wed, July 06, 2022

in-focus

8,000 smuggled durian saplings seized on Thai-Laos border


Eight thousand durian saplings worth THB240,000 were confiscated at a border checkpoint in the northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province on Friday as they were being transported across the border.

Durian is one of 11 Thai plants prohibited from exports under the Plant Varieties Protection Act.

Acting on a tipoff, the Chong Mek border checkpoint’s plant quarantine station and Customs officials intercepted a truck waiting to cross the border into Laos, Agriculture Department director-general Rapeepat Chansriwong said on Friday.

A search of the vehicle found 8,000 saplings of the popular Mon Thong durian variety valued at THB240,000.

The truck driver was charged with exporting a protected plant variety without permission, an offence that carries the penalty of a maximum of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to THB4,000.

The driver was handed over to the police and the durian saplings were seized and placed in the custody of the Customs checkpoint.

The 11 protected plants prohibited from exports include: durian, grape, lychee, coconut, tamarind, pomelo, longan, and pineapple, according to the Agriculture Department’s Rapeepat.

The official said that smuggling of the protected plants out of the country for cultivation elsewhere would severely impact Thailand’s agricultural sector and economy. He asked those with knowledge of such a violation to inform any of the Agriculture Department’s plant quarantine stations across the country.

Published : May 27, 2022