Thai Court Lowers Philip Morris Fine

    Photo: Jo Panuwat

    An appeals court in Thailand has lowered a fine imposed on Philip Morris (Thailand) for customs violations to THB121 million ($3.53 million), reports The Bangkok Post.

    In November 2019, the country’s criminal court found the tobacco giant guilty of evading taxes due on cigarette imports from the Philippines and ordered the company to pay a fine of THB1.2 billion.

    While upholding the guilty verdict, the appeals court on June 1 lowered the fine and instructed authorities to pay rewards to those who provided tips leading to the arrests.

    The prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Philip Morris (Thailand) and seven of its employees in 2016 for inaccurate price declarations on cigarettes imported from the Philippines from July 2003 to June 2006. The defendants denied the charges.

    According to the lawsuit, Philip Morris (Thailand) set the price of L&M cigarettes imported from the Philippines at THB5.88, while other importers declared the same brand of cigarettes at THB6.81 per packet.

    The tobacco firm allegedly also declared the cost, insurance and freight rate on Marlboro from the Philippines at THB7.76 per packet, far lower than the THB27.46 reported by other importers.