Whilst in Thailand in april earlier this year i had a connecting flight from Heathrow to Doha to Bangkok. Whilst in Doha I decided to buy 12 sleeves (2400) cigrettes. As i arrived in bangkok i was caught at customs and taken to a small partition where i was pictured with the contraband and forced to pay roughly £850 fine. I would like to know:
Is this legal?
Is their anything i can do now back in england?
Will my name be down as doing anything wrong?
Also could people share some of their experiences .
[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jul-2009, at 14:52 by connor693 ]
The Thai Customs were enforcing their law. You are allowed 200 cigarettes when entering Thailand, anymore and you are subject to fines. As you found out. When I was in Sihanoukville, April 08, I was going to bring a few cartons of cigarettes to Pattaya. My Brit friend smokes and wanted some cheap cigarettes. I told a buddy of mine who lives in Sihanoukville and he warned me about taking more than 1 carton into Thailand. I went over to the bar next door and asked several ex-pats about walking across the Thai border with more than 200 cigarettes. They all had a story to tell. They had been fined or knew friends that had. The Thai Customs boys are enforcing the law and supplementing their income at the same time! A win, win deal for them. A big loser for you and other smokers.
There is nothing you can do, they just enforced their custom laws. I don't think you will face any penalty when you return to Thailand. You probably will be in the computer as paying the fine, so expect to have your bags searched once again.
Sorry, but the title of this thread is very misleading. This is not a scam at all. What you tried was illegal, against customs regulations. Attempting to take 2,400 cigarettes into a country where the limit is only 200 is not a very bright idea.
You are very fortunate that you were only fined as the authorities had the right to heap upon you a more severe charge of smuggling - i mean that amount is ten times more than what is allowed.
Fining you that amount of money is perfectly legal. If you had attempted to dispute the fine, you could have been arrested.
What you tried to do was illegal and what the authorities did was legal.
Since you paid the fine on the spot, your name is probably not listed on any permanent file. No probs.