Officials from the Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee raided an illegal cigarette factory in Phnom Penh on Tuesday and arrested 20 staff.
An officer who asked to remain anonymous told The Post on Wednesday that the factory in Chaom Chao commune, Por Sen Chey district, had been operating illegally for two years and employed over 100 workers.
“B.P.A Bopea Asia Co Ltd produces many brands of cigarette for China, but we do not know which fake logos were meant for which markets,” he said.
Staff arrested for questioning included 14 Chinese, three Vietnamese and a Cambodian translator.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Say Nora told The Post that after checking the factory, officers found many popular Chinese cigarette brands including W, Yun Yam, Lyqun, Yu Xi, Peony, Furong Wang, Nanjing, Shuang Xi (A 701), Shuang Xi and Shuang Helen.
“We retrieved materials used to make cigarettes to keep as evidence. A large amount of materials is being kept locked in the factory, which is now closed,” Nora said.
Cambodia Movement for Health executive director Mom Kong said he supported the effort to shut the factory. He called on police to search for other illegal ones.
“We want to see law enforcement in inspecting tobacco products to enhance public health in Cambodia,” he said.
According to a World Health Organisation report, tobacco use kills 15,000 Cambodians annually with 33 per cent of those people in the lowest income bracket.