A haul of nearly 12 tonnes of fake alcohol sanitisers were destroyed on May 12 after officials from the Ministry of Commerce's General Directorate of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CCF) raided a number of markets in Phnom Penh.

CCF director-general Phan Oun said commerce minister Pan Sorasak had instructed all officials to increase quality control of alcohol sanitisers sold and distributed nationwide.

Oun said that on May 11, officials destroyed fake alcohol and methanol sanitisers at a dumpsite in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. The operation came with the approval of the municipal court prosecutor.

“These fake products were found and seized by officials from warehouses and pharmacies in Phnom Penh from April 15 to May 5,” Oun said, adding that opportunists produced the fake items to sell as public demand was high.

Oun continued that fake sanitisers made with methanol are toxic. Methanol not only killed the virus, but also affected the health of users such as skin and eye irritation, headaches and death when mixed with ethanol.

The directorate called on all wholesale and retail sellers, owners of pharmacies and markets and importers of alcohol sanitisers to conduct business ethically and put consumers’ health first before profits.

It also reminded the public to check sanitisers for a trademark before purchasing.