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Fake product bust: 16 nabbed

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Sixteen people have been arrested and 4,000 litres of fake alcohol has been seized over the past two weeks. MINISTRY OF COMMERCE

Fake product bust: 16 nabbed

Police are stepping up crackdowns on dealers selling fake sanitisers and Covid-19 test kits.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said on Thursday that 16 people have been arrested and 4,000 litres of fake alcohol has been seized over the past two weeks.

He said the sale of fake alcohol and Covid-19 test kits, which are prohibited by the law, affects social security and public health.

“Therefore, this cannot be allowed. They do it for nothing but their interests and destroy other people’s lives.

“We have arrested 16 people who advertised to sell or distribute fake Covid-19 test kits and other related products. Of those, 11 were released and three sent to court. Two other are already going through the court procedures,” he said.

Phan Oun from the General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention at the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that over the two weeks, relevant authorities collaborated to collect fake alcohol (methanol), including that transported from the border, amounting to 4,776 litres.

“For now, we are keeping all the fake products in our warehouse and waiting on the court to determine whether to destroy or keep them for industrial usage,” he said.

Oun said the authorities found the fake alcohol mostly in Phnom Penh and some in Siem Reap province. Relevant authorities are searching for fake alcohol in other provinces.

Liv Sophannarith, the director of the Secretariat for Counter Counterfeit Committee, said on Thursday that the authorities stepped up the clampdowns after Prime Minister Hun Sen called on them to investigate the sale of overpriced alcohol and face masks.

“Concerning the detention of those who advertise the sale of fake products and fake Covid-19 test kits, we educated and released them after questioning because it’s not serious.

“But for those who sell prohibited products relating to Covid-19, they must be detained and sent to Court,” he said.

According to the Department of Consumer Protection, Competition, and Fraud Prevention, since Wednesday the authorities have seized methanol totalling 100 cans, or 3,000 litres, along Hun Sen Boulevard.

Methanol is considered a poisonous substance which cannot be used for hand washing or for killing bacteria and can affect the health of users.

Cambodians are encouraged to purchase products, especially alcohol and hand sanitisers, with appropriate commercial signs and a clear source, to avoid fraudulent and ineffective products that are harmful to their health.

On Wednesday, the Phnom Penh municipal police also sent two Chinese nationals to court for selling and distributing Covid-19 test kits banned by the Ministry of Health.

Municipal court spokesperson Kuch Kimlong said the court is also questioning several other suspects over the sales of fraudulent products concerning Covid-19.

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