The Counter Counterfeiting Committee of Cambodia (CCCC) is conducting further investigations into the seizure of more than six tonnes of counterfeit Black Sheep body lotion. It is seeking to hold more people accountable for the sophisticated manufacturing operation, which also allegedly involved child labour.

The bust took place in Kandal province’s Trapeang Sokrom Village, Bek Chan Commune, Srok District. December 21.

“The suspects secretly manufactured, stored and distributed counterfeit Black Sheep Body Lotion without the approval of the Ministry of Health, and with no regard for the quality controls set by the ministry,” said Meach Sophana, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior and president of the CCCC, in a December 26 press conference.

“The suspects falsified the source of the product to misrepresent it as a Thai product. It was being manufactured without a license and used different pharmaceutical ingredients to the genuine product range,” he added.

During the raid, Sophana said that the police also found cases of the exploitation of 23 staff, some of whom were minors, a flagrant breach of labour laws.

“The business was not operating in accordance with the law. We shuttered the location, suspended all trading and sent the case file to the Kandal Court of First Instance’s Prosecution Department,” he continued.

Ek Sun Raksmey, spokesman for the prosecution department, told The Post that the case fell under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior’s judicial police, and had not yet gone to court.

Following the bust, Sophanna called on the public to be wary of buying fake products, especially from online sellers. As they are unregulated and not registered with the health ministry, they may cause serious harm to consumers.

“The committee has noted that some nefarious individuals appear to be deliberately counterfeiting brands and products that are in high demand, with no regard for public health. The CCCC will continue to investigate all such cases and see that the perpetrators are brought to account,” he said.

“This was the largest case of counterfeit cosmetics in the history of CCCC operations. The excellent outcome of this investigation was possible thanks to the cooperation of prosecutors, the health ministry and several other institutions,” he added.