Customs officials and soldiers seize a lot of untaxed cigarettes and liquor from two stores in Hat Yai, Songkhla, on Friday night. They also raid two godowns in Bang Klam district of this southern. The seized items from the four venues were worth at least 10 million baht. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
SONGKHLA: Authorities raided four locations in two districts and seized untaxed cigarettes and foreign liquor worth at least 10 million baht on Friday night.
It was the largest haul of contraband cigarettes and liquor since the new excise tax rates came into force on Sept 16.
A combined team of customs officials and soldiers raided two godowns in tambon Tha Chang of Bang Klam district and two stores at Mai market in downtown Hat Yai on Friday night.
The operations, led by senior customs official Chanit Suparin, found a lot of untaxed cigarettes and liquor at those places. A 10-wheel lorry loaded with contraband cigarettes were also seized from one of the four places.
The seized items, with a street value of at least 10 million baht according to customs authorities, were destined for shops in Hat Yai and nearby southern provinces.
The prices of most cigarettes and alcoholic beverages rose after the came into force last Saturday.
The price hikes led to the smuggling of a large number of untaxed foreign cigarettes and liquor into the country. Untaxed cigarettes were sold between 20-25 baht a pack, while the prices of taxed cigarettes sold in Thailand jumped to at least 90 baht.