A Thai woman has learned a costly lesson in Thai import duties after having branded clothing ‘challenged’ at Suvarnabhumi airport. She was fined 54,000 baht on arrival at the airport from overseas when customs officials questioned her wearing expensive designer brands and traveling with luxury goods in her luggage.
The woman, now based in South Korea, was stopped by customs as she walked through the airport on Friday May 20 with her foreign boyfriend. It was the first time in 2 years that she had visited her native Thailand.
Customs officers asked the couple to stand apart as they searched through their 3 suitcases and 2 carry-on bags, checking luxury items such as clothes, shoes, hats and sunglasses.
The furious woman told the media that officers even ordered the couple to remove the luxury items they were wearing.
An officer suggested the couple intended to sell the products for a profit, which she denied. The woman told customs that the clothes they were traveling with were for personal use and asked them to “smell the items as evidence”.
Another officer told them that every luxury item would be seized because people could not enter the country with more than 20,000 baht in assets. He added that they could face a blacklist if they refuse to follow the rules.
After much delay, an officer fined them 27% of the product price of their luxury bags and 37% on their clothes. Initially, they were asked to pay 70,000 baht, before a discount imposed a fine of 54,000 baht.
The woman issued a warning to others entering Thailand with luxury branded items, and added that Thai authorities have no right to fine foreign tourists like this. Many Thai netizens showed their support and reported that they too had suffered similar experiences and consequences from customs officers at the airport.
One woman said she was fined 60,000 baht, while another revealed she was charged 100,000 baht for her Chanel bag. She decided to let the airport keep it and claimed it at the end of her vacation when leaving Thailand.
The story went viral on Thai social media after the woman posted her story on Facebook.
THE SOURCE: Travel News