The Cambodian Counter Counterfeit Committee yesterday said that most of the fake products it seized were produced within the country and then passed off as imports from France or Japan.
Lieutenant General Meach Sophana, president of the committee, made the remark during a ceremony yesterday that saw authorities destroy a total of 110 tonnes of fake products in Dangkor district’s Choeung Ek commune.
Lt Gen Sophana said many of the counterfeit goods destroyed yesterday were produced in Cambodia, then shipped to neighbouring countries only to be repackaged with a Made in Japan or Made in France seals and shipped back to Cambodia.
“They put names of famous products like Shiseido, along with Made in Japan seals, but those products were made in Cambodia,” Lt Gen Sophana said. “They do it for profit. They don’t care about people’s health.”
Lt Gen Sophana stressed that even with crackdowns by the authorities, there were still people willing to take the risk of producing counterfeit goods.
“The people in charge of the business like doing it because they can make a lot of profit. They don’t consider this to be a serious crime,” he said. “The police don’t have the means to seriously filter whether products are real or fake.”
Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who presided over the burning ceremony yesterday, appealed to authorities to strengthen crackdowns on fake products and arrest the people responsible.
“I wonder why there are tonnes of fake products in the market, and only six people were arrested last year,” he said. “Please strengthen actions against this problem.”
Mr Kheng said that if authorities don’t manage to rein in the problem, people’s health could be seriously affected because fake products can be very harmful.
“Even people who do not smoke or consume chemical-laced fish could develop lung cancer from these products,” he said, noting the production of fake products is not a victimless crime.
“We must have the right mechanisms to stop it, because if not, these fake products will still be present in our market.”
According to a report by the committee, authorities cracked down on 19 separate cases of counterfeit good production totalling almost 600 tonnes and arrested six suspects last year.
Last month, the Interior Ministry’s anti-economic crime department destroyed more than 11 tonnes of mixed counterfeit goods and cosmetics at a garbage dump in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.
The destroyed goods included expired products, counterfeit products, products without a licence, cosmetics containing illegal chemical substances, counterfeit medicine, animal fodder and more.