Vietnamese investor-led network raided in Thailand for false milk powder sales

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A Vietnamese investor-led network, falsely advertising and selling a specialised milk powder with exaggerated health benefits, was raided by the Royal Thai Police (RTP).

The authorities seized more than 42 million baht in assets and accused the network of misusing the name of a renowned former national football player, Piyapong Pue-on, in their marketing.

The operation took place at 10am this morning, led by Police Lieutenant Colonel Witya Sripaoprapha, RTP Commander, and Police Lieutenant Colonel Supachai Poomhaem, 4th Battalion Commander of the RTP, along with representatives from the Food and Drug Administration. They announced the crackdown on this international network which falsely advertised and sold milk powder with numerous overstated benefits.

Lieutenant Colonel Witya revealed that prior to the operation, officials had identified four websites advertising the sale of a particular milk powder brand. The product was falsely promoted with exaggerated health benefits such as protecting the heart and blood vessels, preventing diabetes, enhancing intellectual capacity, alleviating joint and shoulder pain within three days, and preventing osteoporosis, and numbness.

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The product was falsely represented as an imported product certified in the United States. The network illicitly used images of Piyapong Pue-on, a famous former national football player, for their advertisements, which led many people to purchase and consume the product.

Lieutenant Colonel Witya further explained that they had gathered sufficient evidence before obtaining a court warrant to search a commercial building and two residences in Chon Buri province. The search resulted in the confiscation of unregistered powder milk or dietary supplements, unregistered traditional medicine, medical devices, and other equipment, totalling 43,411 items, valued at over 40 million baht.

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Upon investigation, it was found that the suspects were part of a network backed by a Vietnamese investor. The products were smuggled into Thailand from Vietnam and stored in various rented buildings, waiting to be distributed once an order was placed. When a customer ordered through the page admin, the suspect group, which included Vietnamese nationals, would package and deliver the products to customers in Thailand, reported KhaoSod.

During the search, eight Vietnamese employees were arrested and prosecuted for various charges including jointly selling improperly labelled food products, jointly selling modern medicine without permission, and foreigners working without permission.

Lieutenant Colonel Witya added that during the financial investigation of the suspect group, it was found that from August this year to the present, within three months, there had been more than 175 million baht in transactions in their account. He emphasised that they would expedite the prosecution of the investor and anyone else involved in the future.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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