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Bust on fakes sparks riot in Poipet

An overturned vehicle sits on the roadside in Poipet yesterday after it was rolled over by angry traders near the Thai-Cambodia border. Photo supplied
An overturned vehicle sits on the roadside in Poipet yesterday after it was rolled over by angry traders near the Thai-Cambodia border. Photo supplied

Bust on fakes sparks riot in Poipet

A riot broke out at a market on the Thai side of the Poipet border crossing yesterday morning, leaving one Thai police van overturned by enraged Cambodian vendors and a handful of arrests.

The outburst began about 10am at Long Keur market when 10 plainclothes Thai police officers confiscated a bounty of fake products, mostly perfume and belts, from Khmer vendors, according to two of the vendors.

“The Thai authorities were not so nice this morning. They came and collected our stuff, then put our products in their car,” said vendor Chang Sam Ang.

The seizure quickly led to a crowd of Khmer vendors pelting Thai authorities with stones and chairs, said vendor Meng Huy. No Thai vendors took part in the clash, he added.

“We would like to request to the local Cambodian authorities to speak with the Thai authorities in order to make it easy for us to continue selling these products in the market,” said Ang.

People gather near the Thai side of the Poipet border after traders overturned a vehicle yesterday. Photo supplied
People gather near the Thai side of the Poipet border after traders overturned a vehicle yesterday. Photo supplied

According to vendor Huy, police had arrested a man and woman following the mayhem, who they later released.

Police then returned at about 6:30pm and arrested two more vendors, he said, adding that they had not yet been released.

Poipet governor Gnor Meng-chruon said Thai authorities made the bust as the Khmer vendors’ fake products were undercutting Thai vendors.

“Our Khmer people closed their shops when the Thai came to check the products, because they were selling fake versions of the Thai products at a lower price,” he said. “Copyright is very important.”

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