PHUKET: Three escaped Cambodian fishermen were arrested on Kata Beach for peddling fake name brand sunglasses to tourists yesterday.
“We received a letter from the Damrongtham Center [ombudsman’s office] that tourists had been conned into buying pirated sunglasses by migrant workers on Kata Beach,” said Muang District Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Samran Yukunthorn.
“The three said that they used to work as fishing laborers in Phuket, but their income was not enough to survive. So, they escaped from their employer to sell fake sunglasses to tourists.”
The men arrested were named by police as Roung, 25, Gen, 23, and Dam, 36.
“In their possession we found 90 pairs of fake sunglasses with brand names such as Oakley, Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Prada,” Mr Samran said.
According to the three men, the sunglasses were ordered from Cambodia and were sent to them by post. They cost 100 baht per three to four pairs, depending on the type.
“The men were then turning around and selling them for anywhere between 150 to 600 baht per pair,” Mr Samran said.
The men did not possess passports and were only able to present their migrant labor ID cards.
Police confirmed that they would not investigate the wages or working conditions of the men, prior to their escape from Thailand’s fishing industry.
“They were charged with working illegally in Thailand, leaving the limited zone of fishing migrant laborers without permission [Immigration Act, BE 2522] and selling fake copyrighted goods,” Mr Samran said.
All three men confessed to the charges.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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