DIT finds overpriced sandbags in flood-prone areas

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BANGKOK, 15 October 2011  – The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has discovered unfair pricing of sandbags in some parts of Bangkok amid flooding and is taking legal action against the vendors.

With the soaring demand for sandbags for use in the prevention of floodwater, DIT Director-General Vatchari Vimooktayon revealed that complaints over high prices and scarcity of sandbags had been received. Therefore, DIT officials were dispatched to areas vulnerable to inundation within Bangkok, such as Sai Mai, Don Mueang, Bang Khen, Lat Krabang and Nong Chok districts, to observe the sale of sandbags in the market.

As a result, Ms Vatchari stated that a well-known construction material store was found to be earning extremely high profits from selling 20-kilogram bags of sand at the rate of 55 THB each. The size of the product being sold was also smaller than the standard size of 25-30 kilograms.

The DIT is now gathering evidence in order to bring charges against the vendor for violating Section 29 of the Act on Prices of Goods and Services. Punishment includes a jail term of up to seven years or a fine of not more than 140,000 THB or both.

Moreover, several other stores also failed to display the prices of their products. A fine was thus imposed on them. Ms Vatchari then reminded people to contact the DIT hotline 1569 if they came across suspicious trading practices.