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

  • Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Kingdom’s virus toll tops 84, Cambodians in Thailand rush home

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and its highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • NBC calls for cashless payments

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. “To contribute to the prevention of Covid-19, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages financial institutions

  • CEO held for fraud in Siem Reap

    Over 200 individuals gathered in front of the Siem Reap Provincial Court last week to ask that Dim Suonnath, the CEO of a real estate company being held for fraud, take responsibility for compensating some 2,000 residents who invested with him. The request was denied. Suonnath responded

  • Ministry calls for home schooling

    Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hang Chuon Naron appealed to parents of students to provide home education in a proper environment and help them obtain more learning materials. The ministry also allowed schools to take a premature vacation after several people tested positive for