Excise officials investigated B12,000 orange juice

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Bangkok Post archive photo.

Five officials from the excise department are under investigation for allegedly demanding payment of a 12,000 baht “fine” from a store owner who filled a large order of fresh orange juice.

Director-General Lavaron Sangsnit had transferred the five officials from the Bangkok 5 regional excise office to another office pending an investigation into the allegation, Thai media reported Thursday.

The move follows a post from a Facebook user indicating that she was initially delighted to receive an order for 500 bottles of fresh orange juice in her shop on Monday.

She had drawn on all her resources to make enough orange juice to fill such a large order, only to find out the next day that it had been installed.

The so-called buyer and the excise officials who came to his shop were the same people.

The officials first ate a steak at the store, then searched for the ordered 500 bottles of orange juice. Then they asked her to pay a fine of 12,000 baht for the unauthorized production of orange juice, she wrote.

Spokesman Nathakorn Uthensut said on Wednesday the department received a complaint from an operator who paid the excise tax that some beverage factories were making substandard products and not paying the tax.

The seller who posted his Facebook post was one of the producers mentioned in the complaint, Nathakorn said.

Excise officials advised the seller to properly register his operation and pay the tax, he said.

According to Mr Nathakorn, officials said they did not demand a fine, as the woman claimed.

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