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Bangkok-based online B70m in fake sales scam

Police have seized about 70 million baht worth of fake cosmetic products bearing the names of 18 brands during a raid on a house in Bangkok’s Suan Luang district.

As many as five people, including a Vietnamese national believed to be the ringleader, are still being sought in connection with the offences.

The seizure was made on March 14 but only announced on Friday at a briefing held by the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A combined team of police and FDA officials, armed with a search warrant issued by the Phra Khanong criminal court, searched a rented house in Suan Luang district after an investigation revealed that it was used to store counterfeit cosmetic products.

Pol Col Thanakorn Lerdporncharoen, deputy head of the CPPD, said the FDA had received many complaints from customers that they had purchased cosmetic products of well-known brands online, only to find after using them that they were fake and substandard.

The house where the products were stored was rented by a Vietnamese national, said Pol Col Thanakorn.

He said the offenders would face charges of selling cosmetics without Thai labels, selling cosmetics that were not registered, or possessing products with fake trademarks or certification marks with intent to sell.

Pol Col Neti Wongkularb, superintendent of CPPD Sub-division 4, said officers initially found five people were involved and that they had been carrying on the business for at least six months.

A Vietnamese national living abroad was behind the business and some Thai people were hired to open bank accounts to receive money transfers, said Pol Col Neti.

The investigation found that sales of the fake products had totalled about 119 million baht. Officers are now extending the investigation to arrest the people involved, he said.

Dr Withit Saritdeechaikul, deputy secretary-general of the FDA, said the counterfeit products would cause abnormalities such as skin rashes when used.

The offenders had created a website to sell cosmetic products at cheap prices, offering promotional campaigns for their products, he said.

Police and FDA officials jointly announce the seizure of 70 million baht worth of counterfeit cosmetic products. Photo supplied) front cover

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