Possession of cyanide a legal offence, warn Thai police
Importing or possessing cyanide without permission can result in a two-year jail sentence and/or a 200,000 baht fine, Thai authorities warn.
The Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) issued a statement on Friday warning people of the punishment under the Hazardous Substance Act, which lists cyanide as a Category 3 substance.
Cyanide recently came into the public spotlight after a 36-year-old woman was arrested in Bangkok last week with a bottle of the lethal chemical in her possession. She faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly poisoning a Kanchanaburi businesswoman in Ratchaburi province on April 14.
Further investigation has revealed that Sararat “Am” Rangsiwuthaporn may be linked to the suspicious death of 18 other people. Police believe the suspect poisoned them to get out of debts owed to victims or steal their valuables.
CPPD chief Pol Maj-General Anant Nanasombat said on Friday that a permit from the Industry Ministry is required to import or possess cyanide. Violators will be punished with up to two years in prison and/or a maximum fine of 200,000 baht. He said the Act also prohibits the sale of the chemical via normal or online channels.
Cyanide is normally used in the metal separation process in the mining industry and in electroplating. It is also used as a substrate in the production of narcotics. The chemical is potentially deadly and physical exposure can interfere with the body’s ability to use oxygen. It can come as a colourless gas, liquid or crystallised form in compounds with other chemicals.
Exposure to cyanide can result in the following symptoms, namely chest pain or tightness, dizziness, eye pain or tearing, difficulty in breathing, headache, nausea, rapid or slow heart rate, breathlessness, vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, coma and death.