Phuket fake product vendors protest raids

25 Jul 2011

Vendors of counterfeit products congregated in Phuket Town last Wednesday to protest against police raids on their shops. The group of 60 vendors first went to the town police station, where they handed in a petition addressed to commander Pekad Tantipong, and then they proceeded to Provincial Hall.

At the hall the demonstrators handed in another protest letter which was accepted by vice-governor Weerawat Janpen. One of the protestors, who wished to remain anonymous, said that police had raided shops and confiscated counterfeit goods every day for the past month.

He added that the raids were aimed at shops in the resorts of Kata and Karon, yet other locations such as Patong escaped the attentions of the police. He continued by saying that many of the vendors had been selling fake products on the island for the past two decades and that the current police actions, and loss of business, had left many of his colleagues with financial problems.  

Prior to the start of the campaign to stamp out the illegal trade, vendors said that some had received letters signed by the police commander. The letters stated that the Thai Intellectual Property Department and the Royal Thai Police were committed to putting an end to an issue that was damaging Thailand’s international reputation.

The vendors say police told them they could sell traditional items made by the One Tambon One Product co-operatives (OTOP) instead of bogus designer clothes, and illegally copied CDs and DVDs which infringed on international copyright laws.

Tags: Phuket fake product raids

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