Takeo provincial authorities shut down 11 small-scale operations yesterday for making fake palm sugar, and say they have plans to close more.
According to Lumpong Commune Police Chief Nob Phary, police have identified 43 palm sugar operations in Bati district that are suspected of cooking down white sugar to imitate the more expensive palm sugar.
Chhe Soy, Lumpong commune chief, said the family-run businesses have operated in the district for years and ignored several warnings from authorities to stop.
However, Ket Prong, head of Takeo’s provincial Industry and Handicraft Department, said investigators found no other substances besides white sugar and water.
“It does not cause problems to the consumer’s health as it is made of white sugar and water, but it affects the identity of natural palm sugar and intellectual property rights of other private companies with a licence from the government,” Prong said.
Authorities said several tonnes of the counterfeit palm sugar were collected and sent to the Industry and Handicrafts Department for examination.