Pro-tip: If a shop is selling Louis Vuitton pillows next to Doraemon pillows, they are fake. In a series of raids, police impounded 40 million baht worth of counterfeit goods – mostly bedding products – from storage facilities in Pathum Thani and Rayong. The Department of Special Investigation announced the haul yesterday.
The bust was made with the help of representatives from a company that holds the copyrights on some of the counterfeit products that were recovered which were using the characters from the popular Doraemon anime that have become a marketing and licensing juggernaut.
A press conference that was chaired by the Justice Minister said that the raids were actually carried out on October 28 in Sam Yaek market in Muang district of Pathum Thani along with additional sites in Pluak Daeng and Muang districts of Rayong.
The majority of the fake merchandise that was impounded were quilts, bedsheets, and other bedding goods, with authorities stating that over 40,000 items, some of which were imported from abroad, were recovered in total. Police estimate the street value at about 40 million baht, about 1,000 baht per item, though they said if the fake products were sold as authentic to unsuspecting customers, they could be worth 4 times that.
The search is now for people connected to the warehouses and the creation and sale of the counterfeit items. They will be charged with breach of intellectual property a well as the possession of contraband with intent to sell.
Interestingly, copyright violations in Thailand can also be prosecuted as a form of money laundering and tax evasion under DSI law. That means that the Anti-Money Laundering Office will also get involved in investigating the fake merchandise bust.
The government has been working on cracking down on fake goods being sold as the violation of intellectual property common in the country has landed it in hot water internationally as Thailand was added to the US Trade Representative’s watch list.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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