The Interior Minister has claimed that due to a lack of collaboration between ministries, fake products are still being imported into the country by vendors who have no fear of authorities.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Wednesday evening at the closing ceremony of the Counter Counterfeit Committee’s annual meeting for 2017 that some dealers were not afraid of authorities, while others were backed by powerful individuals.
“Nowadays, there are still fraudulent businesspeople producing and importing fake products into Cambodian markets without fear of authorities,” said Mr Kheng. “I think this still happens because the relevant authorities do not cooperate with each other and the Ministry of Interior.”
“The traders still look down on authorities and this is because of a lack of cooperation between Interior Ministry officials and relevant authorities,” he added.
Mr Kheng restated how fake products not only affected the health of the person using them, but also impacted Cambodia’s economy.
“I want to appeal again to all relevant institutes to join together to protect and prevent these fake products from being imported into or produced in Cambodia,” he said.
Lieutenant General Meach Sophana, president of the committee, said the committee would do its best to cooperate with relevant authorities to fight against counterfeit products.
“We will continue to improve our efforts for the health of our people and the benefit of society in order to eliminate fake products from our country,” he said.
Lt Gen Sophana added that the committee and authorities would continue informing the public about the impact of fake products so people could better protect their health.
“People can figure out which products are real and which are fake. For example, real medicine has to have a registration number, permission from the Health Ministry, instructions on how to use it, product packaging, the source of the country that made the product, and so on,” he said, adding that people needed to inspect products more thoroughly.
According to a report by the committee, authorities cracked down on 19 separate cases of counterfeit goods production totalling almost 600 tonnes and arrested six suspects in 2017.
On Tuesday, authorities destroyed a total of 110 tonnes of fake products in Dangkor district’s Choeung Ek commune.
The destroyed goods included expired products, counterfeit products, products without a licence, cosmetics containing illegal chemical substances, counterfeit medicine, animal fodder and more.
Lt Gen Sophana said many of the counterfeit goods destroyed were produced in Cambodia, then shipped to neighbouring countries only to be repackaged with a Made in Japan or Made in France seal and shipped back to Cambodia.