Patong praised for fake goods blitz
PATONG: Deputy Director of Phuket Commercial Affairs, Tharadol Thongruang, has announced that the blitz on fake goods has resulted in 90% of offenders in Patong either closing down or turning to selling authentic, legitimate goods. “Now there’s only less than 5% of fake goods left [in Patong], mostly fake brand-name sports shirts. “Fake watches, glasses, bags, CDs and shoes are no longer available. People who used to sell these goods are now selling handmade products from northern Thailand, from Isarn and from nearby provinces,” he told the Gazette. He added that about 3% of the stores that used to sell fake goods are now closed or the owners have abandoned them because of difficulties in paying rent, which can be as much as 120,000 baht a month for an eight-square-meter space in a prime location in the resort town. K. Tharadol said that the efforts to crack down on fake goods had earned praise from dignitaries attending Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings being held in Phuket. “Peru’s ambassador to Thailand complimented Phuket on the lack of fake goods in Patong,” he said. “Many foreigners expect to buy cheap fake products here, but they are now disappointed,” he added. “However, we have distributed a leaflet in English explaining that we are serious about this matter and asking for them to cooperate by not buying illegal goods.” Statistics show that from June 1 to August 18, raids to confiscate fake goods have netted 185,213 items with a retail value of nearly 46.5 million baht and have led to the arrests of 34 people.
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