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Frenchwoman deported for vaping

PHUKET: Karon police have responded to complaints made by a French tourist who was apprehended in Karon for possession of an e-cigarette.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 27 February 2019, 04:07PM

E-cigarettes have been prohibited in Thailand since 2014. Photo: AFP

E-cigarettes have been prohibited in Thailand since 2014. Photo: AFP

Cecilia Cornu, 31, was in Phuket for a family holiday in January and was caught by Karon police holding an e-cigarette on Jan 30 whilst on a scooter with her fiancée as her parents and brother followed behind.

Cornu claims she was stopped by four police officers who snatched the e-cigarette and demanded B40,000, which she refused to pay.

She claims she was then arrested and taken to Karon Police Station where officers tried to bully her into paying a bribe.

Cornu was charged, her passport confiscated and a trial date set for Feb 11. Her return flight was scheduled for the following day.

She posted bail of B100,000 and was released the same day pending trial.

On Feb 11 Cornu attended Phuket Provincial Court where she was convicted for the offence and says she was fined B827 (23 euros). She was then sent to Phuket Immigration for what she thought was to collect her passport.

Upon arriving at the immigration office, she was informed that she would be transferred to Bangkok for deportation.

Cornu was then taken to Bangkok where she claims she spent four days and three nights in a prison cell shared with 60 other women in dire conditions where she had to sleep on a hard, dirty floor with no sheets or mattresses before returning home to France.

Cornu claims the ordeal cost her a total of approximately 8,000 euros (B286,000) in legal fees and travel expenses.

Phuket Property

Karon Police Chief Col Prasarn Hankotha responded to Cornu’s claims this morning (Feb 27). He told The Phuket News, “Karon police arrested Ms Cécilia Cornu after she was seen using an e-cigarette in Karon on Jan 30.”

After waiting in the station for many hours while police worked on the case with her lawyer, she asked for bail which was granted at B100,000,” he explained.

She posted bail and was released the same day. We did not hold her in a cell during her time at the police station.”

Col Prasarn went on to explain that the full bail amount was later returned to Cornu. “We have documents to prove this,” he said.

Ms Cornu was fined by Phuket Provincial Court on Feb 11 but we do not know the amount as we have not yet received a report from the court.”

Col Prasarn flatly denied Cornu’s claim that his officers demanded a B40,000 bribe. “Karon Police had nothing to do with that,” he asserted.

We had to confiscate her passport to prevent her from leaving the country before the trial, which is a normal procedure,” he said. “Police then sent her to the Phuket Immigration Office on Feb 11 to process her deportation via Bangkok.”

When asked about claims made by Cornu regarding her expenses, Col Prasarn replied, “We know nothing about 8,000 euros or B286,000. She paid a fine at Phuket Provincial Court and that is all we know.”

The Chief of the Phuket Immigration Office, Col Kathathorn Kumthieng, explained the standard procedure for all foreigners who are transferred to Bangkok for deportation, highlighting that it can take about three or four days to process and all travel and living costs during that time are the responsibility of the deportee.

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kavaloha | 30 March 2019 - 03:12:56

The flying monkey(money) police force is in full effect! Listen just stop visiting here & leave the POOR to be left POOR. The Thai govnt & police are just corrupt & will never change. We the free people of the world, able to offer some sort of economic help keep getting screwed by these morons and their backward laws & inept mission statement. Yes it’s their laws, but deport for ...

vegasbaby | 01 March 2019 - 20:36:27

I hope they ban boom-boom massage next as I need to go back to my home country.

Winfield | 01 March 2019 - 18:19:35

Research reveals that cigarettes made in Thailand have from 10 to 30 times more tar and nicotine than cigarettes in western countries. Because regulations in Thailand are not enforced. 

Winfield | 01 March 2019 - 17:50:44

Public Health UK, NHS etc reports vaping is a tiny fraction of the risks of cigs. All other studies say similar. Its logical that Tar in cigs is the killer. Many friends tell me that vaping enabled them to give up cigs, & literally saved their lives. Can breathe again. Lost smokers cough. Feel normal again. The ban on vaping is a joke. Deportation over it is a sick joke.

BenPendejo | 01 March 2019 - 14:56:18

Should have clarified ...I didn't mean to ban smoking everywhere, even though I can't stand cigs. But Australia, the US and many other places have banned it in confined areas (bars and restaurants) and in certain public spaces.  If I'm not mistaken, Thailand has also banned smoking in restaurants, but like everything else here, there is nobody willing or capable of enforcing it.

Rorri_2 | 01 March 2019 - 05:27:12

One commentator was going OK until he had to go on with this crap "Of course there is a small group of grumpy old expats who don't. Why those are still here i don't know. Maybe some kind of self-flagellation." Granted, he/she is entitled to his/her opinion, but fails to allows others to have theirs.

DeKaaskopp | 28 February 2019 - 19:38:44

"Thailand needs to ban smoking,not e-cigs.Another tourism killer" And how many million people will not come anymore if they ban smoking,genius.And who says e-cigs are healthy? 

Kurt | 28 February 2019 - 19:32:52

.... the answer on your questions: Expats are familiar with RTP bribe nonsense, able to avoid. Tourists get trapped in RTP 'self marketing' nonsense and bribe/dog cage locked ups for a e-cigarette, while normal cigarettes on a motorbike and restaurants are allowed. This whole affair stinks, but not to cigarette smoke. May be some day the RTP arrest you for wearing slippers on motorbike. :-...

BenPendejo | 28 February 2019 - 13:32:01

This is a tough one to understand. E-cigs are used by people trying to quit smoking. So they ban e-cigs, yet people are allowed to smoke in restaurants, even when I'm sitting there with my non-smoking wife and 2 small children...blowing their poison breath into our lungs.  Maybe Thailand is trying to protect their tobacco industry.  Thailand needs to ban smoking, not e-cigs. Another tourism ki...

dlarao1 | 28 February 2019 - 12:08:49

This is simply unbelievable behavior. What I expect in Miramar, one of the reasons I don't go there now have to add this to the list of places I will not go. I guess they don't care about revenue from tourists.

DeKaaskopp | 28 February 2019 - 11:48:35

"Why are tourists even continuing to travel there" Probably because most of them enjoy it there,same as most expats.Of course there is a small group of grumpy old expats who don't. Why those are still here i don't know. Maybe some kind of self-flagellation.

Nasa12 | 28 February 2019 - 05:25:44

This is not first time some tourist glane corruption in Karon Police station, a now and a se 3 time peopel pay bribe in this place 15000b/ 35000b and last time 75000b fore nothing. 

CaptainJack69 | 27 February 2019 - 21:01:29

"Not an important issue"? Well, it's in the international media reinforcing the standard global perception of Thailand as a backward and corrupt 3rd world country. So well done Karon police, Thailand's' tourism industry applauds you. Sorry our reputation had to suffer for the failure of your little scam.

Rorri_2 | 27 February 2019 - 19:24:07

Hahaaaa ha.. and we have some people, on here, complain about there home country being a "nanny" state. Deported for possession of an e-cigarette, this place just gets crazier.

Asterix | 27 February 2019 - 17:56:11

According to Phuket Radio-Bamboo, all foreigners, going to court and be deported by Immigration, are banned to come back to Thailand for 99 years.

Xonax | 27 February 2019 - 17:00:39

Total overkill.

Meanwhile untreated sewage water is still being led directly out in the ocean all over Phuket. Why are tourists even continuing to travel there?

Discover Thainess | 27 February 2019 - 16:57:23

Wow! Welcome to thailand !


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