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Confessed Apple, Nokia pirate back on Phuket streets



Confessed Apple, Nokia pirate back on Phuket streets | Thaiger

PHUKET: A man who has confessed to charges of selling fake brand-name mobile phones, including imitation Nokia and Apple devices, is back on the streets of Phuket after posting bail yesterday.

Led by Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Superintendent Komol Wattaraporn, police yesterday presented suspect Thanapon “Oh” Lertaen to the media at a press conference at Phuket City Police Station.

On display as items seized in the arrest were more than 600 imitation brand-name devices, including Nokia, Apple, Blackberry, LG and Sony Ericsson, along with packaging, brochures and sales slips.

The items were allegedly smuggled in from China.

The haul was estimated to have a street value of more than one million baht, despite the Nokia rights representative in Thailand saying the fake Nokia devices were being sold at a fraction of the genuine product price.

Police said Mr Lertaen’s arrest followed an investigation revealing he was supplying several retail outlets on the island.

After confessing to several charges of knowingly breaking copyright law, he posted bail and was released.

Despite occasional arrests, sale of counterfeit good remains rife in Phuket, especially in areas popular with tourists.

In past reports the Phuket Gazette has been told that part of the reason is that in some cases copyright holders’ representatives work out arrangements whereby suspects pay a “fee” to the representatives, who in turn agree not to pursue the case in court.

On December 30, one vendor caught selling fake brand-name bags told the Gazette her arrest would not stop her from doing it again.

In that raid, police seized more than 700 bags, all copies of high-end fashion labels such as Chanel, Burberry and Prada.

— Yodsak Jarana


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