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Sanitisers, masks seized in nationwide crackdown

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The authorities seized over 1,500 litres of counterfeit alcohol and advised the owners to stop selling the fake alcohol and counterfeit masks. Ministry of Commerce

Sanitisers, masks seized in nationwide crackdown

The Ministry of Commerce’s General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention last week launched a campaign to check alcohol quality and mask selling prices at pharmacies in Phnom Penh and some provinces.

It seized over 1,500 litres of counterfeit alcohol and advised the owners to stop selling the fake alcohol and counterfeit masks.

The department’s director-general Phan Oun told The Post on Sunday that following the instructions of the Minister of Commerce’s instructions, the department had assigned officers to collaborate with its provincial officers to conduct the crackdown.

Two mobile test vehicles were taken to test the products sold at the pharmacies, including those at the Olympic Market, Macro supermarket, and Aeon Sen Sok Shopping Center in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Pursat provinces.

The officers found low-quality masks and hand sanitisers with inadequate alcohol being sold at high prices despite the growing risk of Covid-19 in the Kingdom.

“The campaign will be conducted on an ongoing basis. The ministry has also informed the public not be panic and warned sellers not to raise prices as we will take them to court.

“So far, we’ve had some sellers who voluntarily hand over products they purchased from third parties. The sanitisers were not alcohol but methanol-based. We have collected over 1,500 litres of methanol in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.” he said.

The department is taking further action on the price of masks sold in markets and implementing legal procedures, Oun said.

On Friday, department officials in Siem Reap cooperated with provincial Department of Commerce officials, to check the alcohol quality of sanitisers and face masks selling prices at pharmacies, wholesalers and retail shops.

As a result of the crackdown, the officers detected methanol being used in products instead of alcohol. They confiscated the fake alcohol and are proceeding with legal action against the vendors.

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned last week that pharmacies and other outlets that sold fake sanitisers and poor quality face masks at high prices will be shut down. He said it was wrong to do so when the country is fighting to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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