Phuket to be anti-piracy pioneer

PHUKET: Phuket will become one of five pioneering provinces as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra pursues a government campaign to obliterate the manufacture and sale of fake goods in Thailand. Imitation brand-name clothing, watches and CDs have become something of a traditional attraction for tourists to Thailand. But the PM plans to replace the cut-price fakes with something genuinely traditional: goods from the One Tambon One Product scheme. A crackdown on the island since mid-June has seen vendors of fakes prosecuted and their goods crushed and burned. And yesterday PM Thaksin ordered a meeting for Bangkok on September 1 to discuss ways of intensifying the campaign. His desire to rid Thailand of its imitation labels will be carried out by Ministry of Commerce officials in Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Songkhla and Bangkok, then extended to other provinces. Tharadol Thongruang, Deputy Director of the Phuket Commercial Affairs office, told the Gazette that some Phuket vendors had already switched from selling illegal goods to truly traditional Thai products. “Just because the [current round of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation talks] have ended doesn’t mean our crackdown on fake goods is over,” he said. Commercial Affairs was happy to help vendors make the switch and avoid prosecution, he said. While acknowledging that tourists often enjoyed buying fake bargains, he said most of those he had spoken to said they would probably be happy with other kinds of souvenirs. Since mid-June, 34 people have been arrested in Phuket and 187,872 fake items with a street value of some 50 million baht have been seized.

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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