The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Commerce’s Cambodia Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (Camcontrol) announced they would take legal action against sellers and pharmacists who sold products such as hand sanitisers containing “fake alcohol”.
In a joint statement, they said when such products are sold, the public is cheated of their ability to protect themselves in light of the growing Covid-19 threat in the Kingdom.
They said some pharmacies in the Kingdom were selling such products without knowing the source or quality of the products.
The appropriate alcohol content in products that kill the virus while being applied, they said, was essential to stop the spread of the disease.
Not ensuring such standards are met in the products or passing off fake products as genuine would be punished, they said.
“Alcoholic mixtures used for killing the virus must contain ethanol and water. They must also state the correct amount of ethanol in the product on the front logo.
“Other substances are not needed, especially methanol. Methanol is not useful for killing the virus. If people do not get the right mixture with the correct amount of alcohol, it puts lives in danger,” their statement said.
They said some sellers have imported and sold lots of fake products without logos and without knowing their original source.
Most of the alcohol products that are being traded in the marketplace do not contain proper ingredients. The mixtures in some cases are watered down or excessively mixed, weakening the product or even rendering it useless against the disease, they said.
The statement said the Ministry of Health has instructed pharmacists to check their products and manage their businesses professionally and appropriately.
“They have to follow the law. All pharmacists must buy alcohol from reliable sources, with invoices included. This will make it easier for ministry to investigate if the products are mixed properly, diluted or contain fake alcohol and where they are coming from.
“If the ministry finds that owners of pharmacies do not put this into practice, we will take strict legal action,” it said.
Camcontrol urged citizens not to buy products without a logo, and check where possible that the products were from reliable sources.
It said all products should have logos and the percentage of ethanol must be written properly. These measures are vital in the fight against Covid-19.
“The authorities will arrest sellers who sell fake alcohol products as described above,” said Camcontrol.