Chanthaburi middleman faces legal action for hoarding unripe durians
A police raid on a fruit middleman’s warehouse in Chanthaburi province found that almost one in five durians stored there was unripe, a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives said on Thursday.
Police found 73 unripe durians weighing over 200 kilograms, representing 17 per cent of the fruit stored there, according to Rapibhat Chandarasrivongs, director-general of the Department of Agriculture.
All the unripe durians were confiscated and taken to the province’s Khlung district police station for further legal action.
He said the warehouse owner would face legal action under the Penal Code and the Consumer Protection Act.
Also, the growers could see their good agricultural practices (GAP) certificate confiscated, and the export permit of the middleman could be revoked by the Department of Agriculture.
The ministry has warned durian growers, harvesters and middlemen that it is against the law to sell the fruit when it is not fully ripe — a practice that is threatening the reputation of Thailand’s “king of fruit” in the export market, particular in China, where durian is very popular.
According to the Penal Code, any seller who deceives the buyer about the origin, nature, quality or quantity of goods will be jailed for up to three years and/or fined a maximum of THB60,000.
The Consumer Protection Act also prohibits sellers from providing false information about the source, condition, quality or essence of goods or services. If found guilty, the violator faces a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of no more than THB100,000. Under this law, repeat offenders will face twice the penalty.