300 fake watches seized in Karon

KARON: About 300 fake luxury-brand watches with an estimated retail value of more than 500,000 baht were seized in two sting operations in the Karon area on Friday night. Two dealers were taken into custody. Pubate Mingkwan, legal representative in Thailand for a number of well-known brands, came to Phuket from Bangkok to investigate reports that knock-off watches bearing logos including Rado, Seiko and Konica were being sold to tourists in Patong and Karon. At about 8:30 pm last Friday, he and an investigation team led by Provincial Police Deputy Commander Pol Col Apirak Hongthong hit the streets of Karon to see if the reports could be true – and they were. Officers watched from a distance as K. Pubate bought a watch from a vendor identified as Montha Taiprasert at a stall on Patak Rd. Police moved in to make the arrest, seizing about 200 watches. K. Montha confessed to charges of selling goods in violation of copyright infringement laws. Normally, such an arrest would have other illegal dealers closing up shop and fleeing within moments, but in this case the vendor alarm network apparently failed. Just 15 minutes later on the same road Wiroj Jongwitayapirom, owner of the Nong Mild Watch Shop, was taken into custody on similar charges. About 100 phony timepieces were seized. Chalong Police Inspector Pol Maj Sanae Panmee told the Gazette the vendors were released on 50,000 baht bail each, and that their names will be sent to the court to see how many times they have been arrested in the past on similar charges. He added that he expects more arrests in the future as police increase cooperation with representatives from copyright-holding companies. Such representatives collect a tidy sum in commission fees from the legitimate copyright owners. The amount depends upon the estimated value of the goods seized, in this case an average of about 1,600 baht per bogus watch. “There are only a few dealers in Karon,” Maj Sanae said, “I think the problem is much bigger in Patong.” He added, “I warn [such dealers] that, if they keep it up, eventually they’ll have no money left to pay the fines.”

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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