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Customs seize B5m of fake goods



PHUKET CITY: Thai Regional Customs Bureau 4 and the Phuket Customs Office at 10 am yesterday held a press conference at the Phuket Customs House on Phuket Rd to announce the seizure of counterfeit goods worth 5 million baht from a wholesaler in Patong.

Regional Customs Bureau 4 Director Rakop Srisuppa-at and Phuket Customs chief Jakson Kitarmorn showed the media the goods, which comprised 4,326 purses, handbags and pieces of luggage together with more than 10,000 items of clothing bearing the names and logos of well-known brand names, including Billabong and Polo.

The media was told the counterfeit goods robbed the government of tax revenue and tarnished the nation’s image and would soon be destroyed.

The press conference followed the arrest of Manote Srirat at 207 Soi Patong Beachlord, off Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd in Patong, on Thursday morning.

K. Manote was not at the press conference, nor was there any mention of his whereabout or what charges he faces. His case would be turned over to police for processing, the press conference was told.

“This case serves to remind those who want to trade in illegal goods in Phuket that they will be arrested,” said K. Rakop.

The 5-million-baht price tag was Customs’ estimated wholesale value. The total retail value would be far higher, K. Jaksorn noted.

The haul was the biggest seizure of counterfeit goods by Phuket Customs in 10 years. Although counterfeit, the goods were of a very high quality, he said.

“Manote confessed that he bought the merchandise from a trader with the intent to supply retailers. Phuket Customs will continue to investigate to track down two retailers alleged to have sold goods bought from him,” he said.

However, Customs has to take into account Phuket’s image when deciding to conduct raids on small retailers operating in areas popular with tourists, he said.


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