Thais travelling abroad have been warned not to bring fresh fruit back to Thailand, as they may face legal action.
Agriculture Department Director-General Rapeephat Chantarasriwong said that a number of Thais travelling abroad, particularly to Japan and South Korea, have brought fresh fruit, such as grapes and persimmon, back to the country without certificates indicating that it is free from pests and plant diseases.
He said that the plant quarantine checkpoints at the Suvarnabhumi airport have confiscated a lot of fresh fruit being brought back by Thai travellers, many of whom claimed they bought them according to advice offered by their guides.
This is against the law, because the fresh fruit does not have appropriate certification, he said, adding that most of the travellers were not arrested or charged, but that their fruit was seized and destroyed.
The penalties for illegally importing uncertified fruit are one year in prison and/or a fine of 20,000 baht, said the director-general.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service