KOTA BARU: The news of a Malaysian tour guide who was arrested for bringing a walkie-talkie into Thailand has shocked the public as many did not realise that possessing a walkie-talkie illegally is an offence in Thailand.
Like some other countries, those bringing walkie-talkie into Thailand need to declare the item with the Customs Department.
Sungai Golok police chief Colonel Prayut Phongsanti said visitors who plan to bring in walkie-talkie must first pay tax to the Customs before carrying the item with them.
“Many visitors, including those from Malaysia, were not aware of this regulation. They simply brought in walkie-talkie into Thailand and then they would be shocked when they were arrested for possessing it.
“Besides, it is an offence under Customs regulation. Walkie-talkie needs to be declared for security reason,” he said, but declined to elaborate further.
Meanwhile, Thai lawyer Kamaruddin Hussin said those caught possessing a walkie-talkie without Customs declaration could either be fined or jailed.
“I can’t give the exact amount of the fine or jail sentence as it will be given by the court and it also depends on the type of offence.
“I believe that on security aspect, Thai authority needs to be alerted on the use of walkie-talkie among visitors especially because they’re afraid it might be misused by certain quarters who might be involved in bombing attacks and other violence in the country,” said Kamaruddin.
However, Kamaruddin said the number of visitors, including those from Malaysia, caught with possessing illegal walkie-talkie was small.
The Malaysian man, Wan Mohd Amirul Adib Wan Mohamad Shubhi, was arrested in Thailand on Dec 14 for owning a walkie-talkie.
According to his wife’s post on Instagram recently, it was Amirul Adib’s first time as a tour guide in Sadao, Thailand and at the time he was arrested, he was escorting some tourists from Perak.
The 22-year-old was detained at a roadblock and later sent to jail. Apart from the walkie-talkie possession, he was also also fined for two other offences involving tourist and vehicle permits.
His wife has appealed for public donation to help with the husband’s bail which is 400,000 Baht (RM51,000).