Raid near university nets more than 10,000 illegal vapes


Eight suspects have been arrested and more than 10,000 e-cigarette and vaping devices have been confiscated in a raid at Number One market near Ramkhamhaeng University (Bangna Campus) in Bangkok.

The campaign, dubbed “Vape Operation”, is a collaboration between the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) and the Royal Thai Police to crack down on sellers of e-cigarette and vaping devices near schools and colleges in the capital, said Puangpetch Chunla-ead, Minister attached to Prime Minister’s Office, who led the operation on Wednesday.

Raid near university nets more than 10,000 illegal vapes

She said the market, which is surrounded by student dorms, is well known for e-cigarette and vaping devices, prompting the OCPB to launch the campaign to stop the selling of illegal items to students and underaged persons.

Investigators reportedly found e-cigarette and vaping devices being sold at 14 stalls in the market and arrested 8 sellers, as well as confiscated nearly 6,000 vaping items found in these shops. They also tracked down the distribution network of these sellers to a factory in Din Daeng district and confiscated some 4,000 items. The total value of the confiscated items is estimated to be over 3 million baht.

“The threat of e-cigarettes on Thai adolescents has sparked concern among parents, as we have found first-time users as young as 13 years old,” said Puangpetch. “Furthermore, these devices can be easily purchased from shops close to schools and colleges, while some students even buy them in bulk for resale to their friends.”

Raid near university nets more than 10,000 illegal vapes

The minister urged parents to closely monitor the behaviours of their children, and report any unusual activities to the OCBD at hotline 1166, website, or the Traffy Fondue application.

E-cigarettes and vaping devices, including baraku (hookah) and electronic baraku are banned in Thailand. Sellers could face up to three years in prison and/or a 60,000 baht fine, while smugglers could face up to 10 years in prison and/or up to 500,000 baht in fines.