By THE NATION
Public prosecutors of economic and resource offences had filed cases against Naparisara Khosuk, Pongpan Somsud, Namfon Eoisiri, Umaporn Mankhong, Nissara Maharuenkhwan, Thasaporn Chanthanapithan and Tao Srithewee.
They were charged with selling price controlled goods at inflated prices in violation of the Prices of Goods and Services Act BE2542 in sections 29 and 40, punishable with a maximum seven years in jail and a maximum fine of Bt140,000, or both. All the defendants confessed to the charges.
They were caught during a government crackdown on overpriced protective gear following the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Umaporn was sentenced to one year and six months jail time for hoarding and selling 4,000 face masks at inflated prices. Tao had 750 face masks and got one year's jail term. Namfon had 125 face masks while Naparisara and Pongpan had 150 face masks each; all three got six months of jail time.
Thasaporn had only 50 face masks while Nissara had eight; they received suspended jail terms and Bt25,000 fine each for possessing smaller numbers of controlled products with an intention to sell at inflated prices.