Thai officials destroy mountain of fake goods

4 Jul 2011

Customs officials in the Andaman Sea area of southern Thailand destroyed a massive haul of counterfeit products last week. On Thursday, senior officials and guests began the event by slashing imitation Ralph Lauren polo shirts and Louis Vuitton bags and hitting pirated CDs and DVDs with sledgehammers.

After this ceremonial start, the 25 tonnes of copied goods which had been seized by police and customs officers in the region was burnt in Phuket Town’s incinerator. The estimated value of the haul if it had been sold was 60 million Baht (US$2 million).

Intellectual Property Department director general Pajchima Thanasanti said that the destroyed items comprised 95,000 copied or illicit articles which had been seized in Phuket, Krabi and Thai-Malaysian border crossings at Pedang Besar and Sadao. She added that it was the first batch of confiscated products to be burnt this year.

The director also handed out banners to Phuket provincial police and customs officials which bore the legend Intellectual Property Infringement is a Sin. Ms Thanasanti said that authorities would be heading for Krabi’s resort of Ao Nang next as it had garnered a bad reputation for the amount of fake designer clothes and DVDs sold there.

This latest action was another step in Thai authorities’ efforts to comply with international copyright laws and stamp out a trade that draws the wrath of countries whose products have been copied. The attempts have previously been hampered as international visitors see the opportunity of buying cheap articles and entertainment media here as part and parcel of their holiday.    

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