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Thai Court Charges Philip Morris $40 Million For Customs Violation

On Friday, a Thai court charged the local unit of Philip Morris 1.2 billion baht ($40 million). The fine was due to customs violations on cigarette imports while dumping criminal charges versus seven of its employees.

Way back 2016, the Thai public prosecutor filed charges. It is in contradiction for Philip Morris Thailand and seven of its Thai employees.

The case claims under-reporting the value of more than 270 entries of smuggled cigarettes from the Philippines between 2003 and 2006, which headed to a revenue loss of more than 306 million baht.

The branch manager of Philip Morris, Thailand, Gerald Margolis, stated, “I’m very happy for the employees that were completely acquitted in this case.”

He added, “However, we strongly but respectfully disagree with this decision, and we’ll promptly appeal.”

The company has also abided with local laws and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Meanwhile, the Philippines went to the WTO in 2008. This is to complain that Thailand was illicitly discriminating in opposition to its imports to defend its state-controlled Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.

Importing of Electronic Cigarettes 

Moreover, a 2010 WTO indicated that Thailand had no reason to deny the import price of cigarettes from the Philippines.

According to the Philippines, there is a series of domestic taxation and customs assessments by Thailand. This has started in 2006 and has weakened the effectiveness of its cigarettes versus those manufactured by the state-controlled Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.

Elsewhere, PMFTC spokespersons pointed to the study that almost 60 percent of Filipino smokers were open to converting from cigarettes. They will be using such products like the company’s flagship product called iQos.

Earlier this year, the information was stated in dialogue with lawmakers.

iQos is an electronic device that discharges the nicotine in cigarettes sans burning.

Meanwhile, the latest evaluations put the number of Filipinos at this time using smoke-free products of various types at 225,000.

There are around 9 million Filipinos who would like to switch away from traditional tobacco products. This is provided the availability of viable alternatives.

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