Nonthaburi police bust counterfeit shampoo ring selling for 100 baht

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

Police recently cracked down on a counterfeit shampoo operation in Nonthaburi, leading to the arrest of a 58 year old woman and her 30 year old nephew. Engaging in a deceptive practice, they were caught refilling used branded shampoo bottles with their concoction and passing them off as genuine products at local markets, with a startling two bottles being sold for just 100 baht.

Puttidej Boonkrapue, a high-ranking officer of the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD), ordered a team led by Senior Police Officer Weerapong Homhual and Police Lieutenant Colonel Visarut Thaijanad to collaborate with the affected companies’ representatives and the Intellectual Property Department officials to conduct the raid.

The apprehended individuals, Duangsumal (surname withheld), and Rerngrit (surname withheld), were caught red-handed in their homes located in the Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi. The police seized a total of 2,389 items, including 129 bottles with Head & Shoulders branding, 147 with Pantene, 25 with Rejoice, 532 with Unilever, and 69 with Shokubutsu branding. Moreover, police found 432 empty used bottles from various brands ready for refilling, 28 bottles of the homemade mixture, and 1,027 pieces of plastic bags and other tools used in the bottling process.

The investigation was propelled by tips from representatives of the victimized companies to the CPPD, indicating that counterfeit versions of their shampoo products were being sold. The suspects were discovered to have purchased used authentic shampoo bottles from second-hand shops and then filled them with a mixture made from readily available market ingredients.

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These counterfeit products were sold at significantly lower prices than the originals – authentic bottles typically sold for around 195 baht (US$ 5) were being passed off for as little as 60 baht (US$ 1.6) each or two for 100 baht (US$ 3).

The customer base for these counterfeit goods included local market traders and Facebook groups, notably those with names such as Free Shipping Prueksa3 and Prueksa3 Food and Goods Free Shipping. This made it challenging for consumers to distinguish between the fakes and genuine products, as the containers used were indeed authentic. To confirm the authenticity of the goods, the companies had to resort to scientific verification directly from the manufacturers, reported KhaoSod.

Following this verification, officers executed a search warrant, issued by the Intellectual Property Court, leading to the arrests and the confiscation of the counterfeit goods. The suspects were taken into custody and are now facing charges, set to be further investigated by the CPPD officials.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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