English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

News, views and comments about Nong Khai here...
User avatar
welshwizard
udonmap.com
Posts: 73
Joined: May 16, 2011, 6:52 am

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by welshwizard » January 18, 2014, 4:11 pm

BobHelm wrote:Sorry it is NOT a scam if you are caught crossing the border with more than the allowance.
In any country ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Each person is allowed 200 cigarettes if you stick to that nothing will happen to you.
I know because I have been stopped after crossing in at Nong Khai by these officers & was met with nothing more than disappointed faces when they searched my baggage & found just 200 cigarettes.
Stay within the law & people have little to fear from any Thai official. Step outside it & expect to suffer the consequences - which can often be very severe.

If you attempt to enter the UK with more than your allowance & are caught ALL your cigarettes are taken from you as well & you are fined and have to pay the duty that you tried to avoid.. I didn't know is no excuse there either...
What a load of complete crap again ! I have never been robbed , murdered or had an accident in Thailand so it cannot possibly happen!! Mightyvan you are mostly correct it is a scam but not easy to say to the udon farang as they do not live in the same Thailand as the rest of us . Anyone who lives in Thailand who thinks the thai people on that bridge will not scam you they are living in cuckoo land .
I lived in europe for about 10 yrs and travelled to uk about 6 times a year , was always over the limit , got caught abut 6 times and was always given the choice of pay the duty or they confiscate the excess was never fined and the excess always made the goods a little more expensive than if i had bought them in uk so mr righteous Helm you are talking about something which as you say has never happened to you so you are posting about something that you know absolutely nothing about.
ww



User avatar
Earnest
udonmap.com
Posts: 1352
Joined: January 14, 2014, 3:56 am
Location: 'round at Vlad's

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by Earnest » January 18, 2014, 4:24 pm

Yes, scamming is endemic in SE Asia but I think Bob's trying to argue that you don't give them a chance to do such. Keep your nose clean in Thailand and stay under the RADAR.

User avatar
BobHelm
udonmap.com
Posts: 18404
Joined: September 7, 2005, 11:58 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by BobHelm » January 18, 2014, 4:28 pm

Ah, I see Welsh Wizard, if you have a personal experience of something then it is valid & worthy of mention.
If I have a personal experience of something it is "a complete load of crap"... :D
Interesting...

However you have not pointed out how the enforcement of a law can be held up to be a scam.
It is exactly the same as being fined for not wearing a helmet. You are NOT fined if you are wearing one.
It is not a scam, it is called law enforcement.

User avatar
Drunk Monkey
udonmap.com
Posts: 3360
Joined: October 14, 2013, 4:39 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by Drunk Monkey » January 18, 2014, 7:08 pm

I must be missing something here ... how can it be called a scam if you are breaking the law .

If you drive thru a red light and get stopped you pay a fine , its not a scam as you broke the law , how is bringing in more than your allowance of any items over the border different other than the way that the goods are " confiscated " , the value of the goods is the fine and if you have more than the legal limit you are breaking the law .. so wheres the scam ?

DM

User avatar
redwolf
udonmap.com
Posts: 1028
Joined: March 15, 2012, 8:16 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by redwolf » January 18, 2014, 8:25 pm

Agreed.

As Bob pointed out:
Each person is allowed 200 cigarettes if you stick to that nothing will happen to you.
I know because I have been stopped after crossing in at Nong Khai by these officers & was met with nothing more than disappointed faces when they searched my baggage & found just 200 cigarettes.
I actually took great delight in hearing of the officers' disappointment upon reading it earlier.

Carry only 200. Don't carry your friend's cigs. Show us somebody who only had their allowance and got fined.

Ultimate solution, don't smoke.
AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIAM | ARCANA IMPERII | ALIS AQUILAE

User avatar
rick
udonmap.com
Posts: 2465
Joined: January 9, 2008, 10:36 am
Location: Udon, or UK May-August

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by rick » January 18, 2014, 10:09 pm

The fine is a bit Draconian, but break the rules and the risk is up to you, being a farang means they can squeeze harder. Same with carrying more than 1 litre of spirits - were stopped last year, but no spirits, just lots of wine, they said 'only looking for whiskey' fortunately.
WW's experience in Europe was lucky - paying extra duty is at the discretion of the customs officer, they can take you to court if they wanted - just too much paper work for them.

User avatar
Jello
udonmap.com
Posts: 1234
Joined: February 15, 2010, 1:34 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by Jello » January 19, 2014, 1:38 am

Drunk Monkey wrote:I must be missing something here ... how can it be called a scam if you are breaking the law .
You right, They unwittingly broke the law. But it is a scam when a uninformed person is told by the duty free shop that the limit is 400 when they know its 200, then tips off his customs buddy on the other side so they can both profit from the fines.
They had been informed by the duty free shops at Laos that they could bring back 400 cigarettes each into Thailand with no problem. This was incorrect as the allowance is 200 per person. My friend was confronted by customs in the car park, and he suspects that the customs officers already knew that the limit for cigarettes had been over exceeded since only he was pounced on.
Also seems odd that every report I hear about people getting nailed by customs happens in the car park. Don't they have a proper checkpoint where you clear immigration? Of course they do, so why do they wait till they get you away from the crowd out in the parking lot if there not doing something that is somewhat of a scam? :-k

User avatar
trubrit
udonmap.com
Posts: 6158
Joined: March 16, 2008, 12:30 pm
Location: Having a good time .

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by trubrit » January 19, 2014, 7:18 am

Whilst I agree with Bob it can't be a scam if you are trying to evade duty and are caught, I must say the operation as described, taking place in the car park and even after a car chase as previously mentioned, certainly would appear to be a sting outside of normal customs procedure.
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

mightyvan
udonmap.com
Posts: 17
Joined: December 19, 2013, 11:48 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by mightyvan » January 19, 2014, 6:36 pm

The reason they do this in the car park is because they are hoping that one of you may carry the allowance of another in your group. They pounce when one person is holding the bags. As a group of people or as a couple, the total of cigarettes you have may not exceed the groups allowances, but if one person is carrying then the customs quickly take a picture and claim possession is nine tenths of the law. All that the one unfortunate person is carrying will be deemed to be his/hers and everything over one pack of 200 will be liable for a whopping 480 baht per 20 cigarettes fine. It is a slimy and crafty practice, as in the car park area you are much more likely to pass bags between each other and if your a gent may offer to carry your lady or ladies bags. They are also doing this at Swampy airport where there has been many reports of ferrangs being confronted in the public areas after having passed through customs.

mightyvan
udonmap.com
Posts: 17
Joined: December 19, 2013, 11:48 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by mightyvan » January 19, 2014, 6:43 pm

In response to Bob Helm's comments :

Yes it is correct that if one person was carrying others peoples cigarette allowances through customs in the UK they would have a problem, but only at the customs nothing to declare or bag inspection areas. In the UK you wouldn't see customs officers rushing to photograph you in the car park of Heathrow the minute you carried your partner/wife's bag for her containing her allowance. Also in the UK they don't have differing penalty rates for those that are caught. Maybe they should introduce in the UK a higher penalty rate for Thai people or for ex pats living in Thailand if caught and a rate four times lower for full UK citizens. How would you feel about that ? I also don't agree that the illegal profiteering from the proceeds of crime by Thai custom officers should just be a matter between the Thai Government and its employees. It is profiting from the proceeds of crime, and demonstrates corruption and dishonesty on those serving the Government.Profiting from the proceeds of crime is illegal and Internationally accepted as wrong. To suggest that custom officers should be incentivised by being allowed to sell off privately contraband or seized goods is not right either, as this would only lead to more corruption and dishonesty. This is why in the UK ceased cigarettes are destroyed. You have also failed to accept that my friend was charged a penalty far higher than the lawful and correct penalty of four times the rate of duty for the quantity of cigarettes - is that not scamming ??? I think that in this case the evidence speaks for itself, and if you cant see that then maybe you need to take your sun glasses off ! Whilst I am happy for you that you have never experienced any problems with customs, and I hope it continues that way for you, defending what is wrong and unacceptable is not acceptable to me, and I wonder what others on the forum think ? I note that some have already declared that they feel it was a scam. Maybe they read the evidence presented in the posts ???? I did like Welsh Wizard's response also, and I think that I should "bleat on" about this scam so that as many people as possible don't get scammed by the Thai Customs

User avatar
BobHelm
udonmap.com
Posts: 18404
Joined: September 7, 2005, 11:58 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by BobHelm » January 19, 2014, 8:12 pm

It is still simple to me.

Stay inside the law & you do not have a problem. Be greedy & try & smuggle cigarettes (which are cheap enough in Thailand anyway) & I have zero sympathy.
If you don't want to do the time, or pay the fine, then don't do the crime.

I would be interested if you could produce 1 reliable witness who was caught innocently carrying their partners bags in the car park.

Do not forget, it is illegal to carry cigarettes that are not either for personal consumption or a gift for someone already in the country.

You are totally incorrect mightyvan I have far from a rosy view of Thailand, quite the opposite. I am totally aware of the dangers of being on the wrong side of the law in Thailand.
My objection to your post is that you highlight it as a scam. It is not. It is an example of what is likely to happen to you if you break the law in Thailand.
You paint the poor falang in this tale as a helpless individual captured by cunning officials.
He was nothing of the sort. He was was greedy, broke the law & suffered the consequences..
That is a lesson for all...

jackspratt
udonmap.com
Posts: 10647
Joined: July 2, 2006, 5:29 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by jackspratt » January 19, 2014, 8:45 pm

A minor point of clarification.

It is the Thai Excise Dept enforcing Thai law in these cases. Nothing to do with Thai Customs.

As far as penalties are concerned you may wish to visit my post of 16 July 2009 on the first page of this thread, and click on the link.

jai yen yen
udonmap.com
Posts: 1020
Joined: August 13, 2009, 8:35 am
Location: Canada, Hua Hin

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by jai yen yen » January 20, 2014, 1:42 am

BobHelm wrote:It is still simple to me.

Stay inside the law & you do not have a problem. Be greedy & try & smuggle cigarettes (which are cheap enough in Thailand anyway) & I have zero sympathy.
If you don't want to do the time, or pay the fine, then don't do the crime.

I would be interested if you could produce 1 reliable witness who was caught innocently carrying their partners bags in the car park.

Do not forget, it is illegal to carry cigarettes that are not either for personal consumption or a gift for someone already in the country.

You are totally incorrect mightyvan I have far from a rosy view of Thailand, quite the opposite. I am totally aware of the dangers of being on the wrong side of the law in Thailand.
My objection to your post is that you highlight it as a scam. It is not. It is an example of what is likely to happen to you if you break the law in Thailand.
You paint the poor falang in this tale as a helpless individual captured by cunning officials.
He was nothing of the sort. He was was greedy, broke the law & suffered the consequences..
That is a lesson for all...
I have to disagree, They were told a lie about the limit and then it seems the same people tipped off the Thai cops as they were waiting for them on the Thai side and singled them out from the crowd. As well I could travel anywhere and carry my wifes bags with her share of duty free items and not be charged. Are you saying in Thailand she would have to carry her items all the way home to be legal? Ridiculous. It is what it is, another of many scams in Thailand. Sometimes I think some people on these sites are afraid of offending the Thais by white washing what is really going on. I enjoy some things about Thailand but it is important for people to know what is going on here to protect themselves, these sites can help but only if we call it as it is.

User avatar
BobHelm
udonmap.com
Posts: 18404
Joined: September 7, 2005, 11:58 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by BobHelm » January 20, 2014, 7:17 am

jai yen yen wrote: I have to disagree, They were told a lie about the limit
You have to be joking..
You think it is a sensible action in a third world country (Laos) to ask someone who is selling you something what the legal limit is??
Even if they just do not want to sell you extra (that is how they get paid after all) you genuinely believe that it is a sensible approach to ask the legality of something from someone who has no reason to tell you the truth??

Personal responsibility, my friend, is sadly lacking in this tale.
The internet abounds with the legal position of importing alcohol & cigarettes into ANY country in the world.
It takes 2 minutes on Google before you even get to Laos to find that out..

Not so much deception, more the same old...It is someone else's fault, not mine!!

As I said before if this tale was posted as a danger to breaking the law then I would have no issues with it.
As it is posted (& by subsequent answers) it is clearly yet another.. Bad way Falangs are treated by Thais thread. Without any acceptance that the Falang TOTALLY was responsible for this chain of events & no one else!!

User avatar
parrot
udonmap.com
Posts: 9249
Joined: March 19, 2006, 8:32 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by parrot » January 20, 2014, 8:27 am

Here's the scene.......Falang and his gf/wife are shopping in the duty free store. One asks a clerk, 'how many cartons of cigs can I buy?'
'Four,' she responds.

I'll take the 220v view that the clerk is not lying if she believes both you and your partner are entitled to two cartons each.

jai yen yen
udonmap.com
Posts: 1020
Joined: August 13, 2009, 8:35 am
Location: Canada, Hua Hin

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by jai yen yen » January 20, 2014, 8:37 am

BobHelm wrote:
jai yen yen wrote: I have to disagree, They were told a lie about the limit
You have to be joking..
You think it is a sensible action in a third world country (Laos) to ask someone who is selling you something what the legal limit is??
Even if they just do not want to sell you extra (that is how they get paid after all) you genuinely believe that it is a sensible approach to ask the legality of something from someone who has no reason to tell you the truth??

Personal responsibility, my friend, is sadly lacking in this tale.
The internet abounds with the legal position of importing alcohol & cigarettes into ANY country in the world.
It takes 2 minutes on Google before you even get to Laos to find that out..

Not so much deception, more the same old...It is someone else's fault, not mine!!

As I said before if this tale was posted as a danger to breaking the law then I would have no issues with it.
As it is posted (& by subsequent answers) it is clearly yet another.. Bad way Falangs are treated by Thais thread. Without any acceptance that the Falang TOTALLY was responsible for this chain of events & no one else!!
I hear what you are saying, my suspicion lies in the fact that they were singled out from the crowd in the parking lot making .me believe the cops were tipped off by the same people that misled them in the first place. I could be wrong, thought I was wrong once before but then realized I was mistaken. :D

User avatar
BobHelm
udonmap.com
Posts: 18404
Joined: September 7, 2005, 11:58 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by BobHelm » January 20, 2014, 8:54 am

There are a number of different places just over the border selling cigarettes. You can also nip into Vientiane & there are an huge number more.
Are people saying that ALL these sellers are in some huge conspiracy with the Thai Officials??
That would seem a ridiculous idea to me.
Ergo if only 1 (or 2) were in on a 'scam' then the Officials would be missing innumerable opportunities to catch their prey.

This whole idea of there being some sort of 'scam' seems just ludicrous to me.

From my personal observations these officers on the Thai side of the border target/search individuals who appear to be carrying more than their fair share of duty free merchandise, they are pretty easy to spot & usually have to queue for a long time at Thai Immigration waiting to come in..

There is no need for a scam, people appear to be only too willing to attempt to 'push the limits'. just look at Welsh Wizard, he is, apparently, proud of the number of times he has personally tried to avoid duty.

Telling travellers not to attempt to do that is a great idea.
Suggesting that there are groups of officials ensnaring those completely legally going about their daily life is untrue - unless anyone can bring up actual & real cases of this happening...
The only cases I have ever heard of the 'victim' was quite clearly breaking the law..

User avatar
redwolf
udonmap.com
Posts: 1028
Joined: March 15, 2012, 8:16 pm
Location: Udon Thani

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by redwolf » January 20, 2014, 12:57 pm

I forgot to also mention, -in the past there's been a small group of criminals who pose as excise officers.

They were intercepting vehicles after they were on the road into Nong Khai, but before the main intersection by Lotus where there's a police box.

Not sure if the thread was on here or where, but they got some foreigners from around here after a visa run.

No one was able to say what came of it, but it likely contributed to the outside perception something was amiss beyond the usual enforcement measures.

RW
AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIAM | ARCANA IMPERII | ALIS AQUILAE

User avatar
trubrit
udonmap.com
Posts: 6158
Joined: March 16, 2008, 12:30 pm
Location: Having a good time .

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by trubrit » January 20, 2014, 1:51 pm

I can't understand this tale about you can't carry your partners allowance . My wife frequently goes over in a minibus with a group of friends. Coming back they are not often stopped but on the odd occasion they were, the officer simply lifted up the tailgate where everything was stowed, counted how many passengers, counted the goods, and waved them on .Surely if the above applied, the driver would be said to have too much .Incidentally it is obvious they are only looking at cigs as they never look at bottled stuff . :-"
Ageing is a privilige denied to many .

mightyvan
udonmap.com
Posts: 17
Joined: December 19, 2013, 11:48 pm

English gent caught with too many Cig's at Nong Khai border

Post by mightyvan » January 20, 2014, 4:06 pm

I think that this has sparked a very interesting debate. Some on the forum see this as a scam, some do not like the mode of operation from the Excise and Duty Officers. Some feel that nobody was scammed. Some are clearly and quite rightly concerned that you can be punished for carrying someone else's allowance, even when you are through the recognised customs check area, and in the public car park. As my final say on this matter, because I cannot add any more to the discussion :

Please read through everything posted on here, and treat this as a warning not to exceed the 200 cigarette allowance per person, and carry only your own allowance until you are in a vehicle at least. The fines here are HUGE even for being just one single carton over. Do not try to bring more cigarettes back, as it simply is not worth it. If anybody does not believe me about what can happen when you carry someone else's allowance then you can always try it out for yourself at Nong Khai or when you arrive at Swampy Airport. I would not recommend it though. When you are in a vehicle it is a different matter though, as its harder for them to establish possession and they cannot take a digital picture of you carrying an excessive amount as they did to my friend. These officers were legitimate Thai Customs and Excise, as they had badges and took my friend to the official Government office in Nong Khai. You can be whiter than white, and can be completely going about your life believing your whiter than white, so politically correct, even so far up your own arse that you may need a search light on your head. But they WILL have you if you carry someone elses allowance, and you being ferrang will be deemed to be in possession of the whole amount. As I said before it happend to my friend. It happend to a group of Singapore guys who arrived at Swampy, and none of the cigarettes will be deemed to have been any Thai members of your travelling party. You holding them as ferrang will be enough. They will be deemed all yours and you will pay the fine based on what is in your hand at the time they photograph you. For those doubters, please go ahead and try it, but I do not recommend this, as it may well prove very costly for you. As Welsh Dragon pointed out its difficult to see how a person who this has never happend to can be so certain that this cannot occur. I would be more than happy to go to Nong Khai and test this out ten times with him. He can carry my allowance of 200 cigarettes and his own, and we can see. I do not agree also that Welsh Dragon is "proud to push the limits " as quite offensively stated, and I also do not like it being said that I am "winging on " These remarks are quite rude and demonstrate a lack of respect. It is often easy to make such remarks on the Internet but I find those that do rarely would say such things face to face.

Post Reply

Return to “Nong Khai”