Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unauthorised medicines seized

Unauthorised medicines seized

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Nearly 20,000 units of unauthorised drugs that were seized during crackdowns in Phnom Penh on March 27 are displayed at a press conference on Tuesday. Soth Koemsoeun

Unauthorised medicines seized

Nearly 20,000 units of unauthorised drugs, including Chinese herbal medicine and aphrodisiac substances, were confiscated during crackdowns on three different locations in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district late last month.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee chairman Meach Sophanna, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said police on March 27 had raided three shops on a street near O’Russey Market.

After receiving a tip-off from different sources, the authorities launched the clampdown and seized 18,160 units of drugs which are not registered with the ministry, including unlicenced sex enhancement substances for men and women, and expired medicine, he said.

The evidence was displayed at the Tuesday press conference where Sophanna also said the police are preparing legal action against the owners of the shops.

“We did not arrest the culprits immediately because they had fled. Right now, our forces are preparing the documents and will send this case to court,” Sophanna said.

He said experts will determine whether the medicines are fake or could cause health problems by running tests at a laboratory.

He continued that the authorities were gathering additional information to find more unauthorised drugs at other locations, including from online vendors.

Sophanna said the confiscated goods were brought into the Kingdom through different borders and by various modes of transport. Prior to the recent crackdown, he said, the authorities had uncovered 10 similar offences in the past four months.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng had on March 12 ordered the arrest of counterfeit goods traffickers following a Counter Counterfeit Committee seizure of more than 70 tonnes of fake and tainted goods.

The haul included 106 types of medicines totalling 400g, 5,520 boxes of ‘Evian’ drinking water weighing 62,640kg, and 7,850kg of agricultural fertilisers.

Punishments ‘not strict enough’

The minister stressed that the products had the potential to harm consumers and that he agreed with his officials who stated that the punishments for those who traffic counterfeit goods were not strict enough.

The Law on the Management of Quality and Safety of Products and Services bans counterfeiting goods, and stipulates that any attempt to do so will be punished by articles 63 and 64 that carry a prison sentence of one month to one year, along with a fine of five million to 10 million riel ($1,250 to $2,500), he said.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said police repeatedly cracked down on the same crimes with the same suspects.

He suggested that this was because powerful officials were behind some cases and were colluding with suspects in return for bribes.

According to the Counter Counterfeit Committee’s report released last month, joint police forces led by the committee last year successfully tackled 20 cases of counterfeit goods.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors