Pattaya Police are investigating after a Thai man has reported that men who claimed they were police have extorted money from him over having E-cigarettes.
Just after midnight today, July 26, 2019, Mr. Panuwat Subun, 24 years old from Ayutthaya came to the Pattaya City Police Station where he reported that four men who claimed they were from the Investigation Section of the Region 2 Police extorted him for money.
Mr. Panuwat told police that those men have caught him with two sets of E-cigarettes that originally cost 1,250 Baht for each set at a petrol station in South Pattaya.
They had asked him for 30,000 Baht for not sending him to the police station, he claimed. He said he didn’t have enough cash so he gave them a gold bracelet valued about 20,000 Baht with 5,000 Baht cash.
After that, they took him on a pickup truck and dropped him on Pattaya Beach Road near Soi 13/2.
Lt Col Kamon Appakarat, Deputy Police of Investigation of the Pattaya City Police says they are investigating the incident.
Vaping in Thailand remains strictly against the law and Thailand has some of the harshest penalties in the world for vaping.
Multiple stories of mostly tourists who claim they have been extorted for up to 50,000 baht have regularly hit the news cycle since a heavy crackdown on vaping roughly two years ago. Meanwhile, the Thai head of Phillip Morris in Thailand is pushing a campaign for a smoke free future and hoping to be able to change Thailand’s strict laws on vaping.