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Ninety tonnes of fake goods seized

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An official carries boxes of seized counterfeit cosmetics as authorities destroy 81 tonnes of contraband last year in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Ninety tonnes of fake goods seized

Some 90 tonnes of counterfeit products were confiscated and 10 people sent to court in connection with the cases so far this year, the Interior Ministry’s Counter-Counterfeit Committee said.

During a media conference at the ministry on Monday, the committee’s head Meach Sophana said that in a total of 40 cases, 88 tonnes of fake and illegal products had been seized and 10 people sent to court, nine of whom were convicted, while others were warned before being released.

“We will do our utmost for the good of Cambodians and watch out for illegal products,” Sophana said, adding that public participation is imperative.

“The authorities, journalists and the public must work together to stop the crimes,” he said, adding: “Anyone who commits crimes such as selling products that affects people’s health will face legal action.”

‘It takes time’

Of the 40 cases, four involved the illegal production of coffee, meat and pepper, as well as the counterfeiting of branded products, among them Evian and Saint Amand mineral water and Corona beer.

In one case, seven tonnes of fake coffee were seized in the capital’s Prek Phnov district. One suspect was arrested, according to the committee’s press release.

Five tonnes of illegally processed food and 58 tonnes of branded bottled water were also confiscated in Sen Sok district, while 18 tonnes of illegally produced pepper and coffee were seized in Toul Kork district’s Phsar Deum Kor commune. No arrests were made in the cases.

Sophana said police are attempting to crack down on the illegal production and packaging of bottled water, but offenders destroy evidence by emptying the bottles and burning them.

“It takes time to clamp down on the illegal trade. When we raid warehouses, only workers remain while the persons behind the operation fled.

“It’s different from other crimes as we have to do a thorough investigation and test the products to see if they are indeed fake.

“Despite our crackdown, the illegal activity still continues. But our efforts will go on and we’re working on it,” he said.

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