Fake products raids on Phuket

9 May 2011

Thai police officers raided counterfeit product vendors’ stalls and shops in the Phuket resort of Patong last week. The raid by Bangkok based police resulted in the arrests of 13 stallholders and the confiscation of an estimated 100,000 counterfeit DVDs and CDs valued at 20 million Baht.

The raid targeted sellers on Ratuthit Songroi Road, Soi Bangla and Beach Road in the resort. Lieutenant general Krisada Pankongchen, a senior Royal Thai Police boss, led the Intellectual Property Centre’s colonel Wisut Chatchaiyadet, Major Saksri Kairat and around 30 officers in the raids.

Major Kairat is the officer representing the interests of Thai film distributor Sahamongkol. The company pays foreign film producers for the rights to distribute movies in Thailand.

Pirate CD vendors do not usually keep the counterfeit products on their business premises, but at a nearby location. When a customer chooses a disc, a courier will go and fetch the requisite article from the secret stash.

The police action last week also targeted these secret CD hoards and several were found in tailors’ shops and false doorways. Pirated products vendors allege they pay Phuket’s police force to turn a blind eye to their activities.

The involvement of Bangkok police may indicate a new resolve by Thai authorities to stamp out illegal counterfeiting of copyright protected products. After the raids, several vendors who had not been arrested staged a protest outside Kathu Police Station.   

The action is likely to lead to a scarcity of copied music and films being sold to foreign visitors on Phuket.

Tags: Fake products raids Phuket

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