Thailand unit of Philip Morris International faces charges that it violated custom tax rules..

September 3, 2009 - The Thai unit of Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) faces charges that it violated customs tax rules by understating the prices of imported cigarettes, a Thai police official said on Thursday, September 3rd.

Philip Morris (Thailand) denied the allegations and stated it was confident it had declared the correct customs values. No one at Philip Morris (Thailand) was immediately available for comment, but the company issued a statement saying it was confident the prosecutor would conclude that its actions were in accordance with international and Thai customs valuation methods. "The DSI's allegations concerning our declared customs values are no different than those first reported in the press in 2006 and we believe they have no merit," it said.

Philip Morris, the distributor of Marlboro and L&M cigarettes is accused of deception from 2003-2007, causing a loss of 69 billion baht ($2.03 billion) in taxes.

The head of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Thewee Sodsong, told Reuters the case had been submitted to the public prosecutor, adding: "It's up to the prosecutor what the next step will be." If the Attorney General's office agrees with the DSI's submission, the case could go to court. Thailand’s attorney-general’s office will decide on October 2nd whether to charge Philip Morris’ local affiliate over claims it evaded import taxes on its cigarettes, reports The Bangkok Post.

Thai media reported that 10 Thai executives of Philip Morris had been summoned by the DSI to acknowledge charges of breaching the Customs Act and the Tobacco Act on Oct. 2. The DSI has also obtained arrest warrants for four foreign executives who have fled. ($1=34.03 Baht)

The same matter, concerning cigarettes exported by a Philip Morris plant in the Philippines to Thailand, is the subject of a trade dispute.

Reference: Philip Morris Thai unit faces tax charges -police,, 9/3/2009; Philip Morris Thai unit faces tax charges -police, reporting by Arada Kultawanich; editing by Alan Raybould, Reuters UK, 9/3/2009, PM Thailand could face tax-evasion charges, Tobacco Reporter, 9/3/2009; Thai police push tax charges against Philip Morris by AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press, 9/3/2009.

Some Thailand news briefs:
Thailand - hosting major tobacco promotion event in November 2009..;
Thailand Tobacco Monoploly - union concerned about privatization..;
Thailand - monks sickly from tobacco smoking and/or smoke exposure..;
Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules..;
Thailand - cigarette and liquor prices are expected to rise once new measures for calculating excise taxes take effect..;
Congratulations.. Thailand Joins Developed World With Total Ban On Smoking..;
Discouraging Tobacco Use - Horrific Images on the Packaging..

Click on image to enlarge.. In 1946 the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, came to the throne. He is now the longest reigning monarch in the world.