The monster haul of illicit goods were announced at a high-profile press conference held at 8:30pm last night, after the raids on 10 locations in the beach resort town were launched at 4:30pm yesterday afternoon (May 18).
Present to tell the the press about the raids were no less than Col Anan Yuprasit of the Phuket office of the military’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) national security agency.
Hailing from Bangkok were Mana Simma, chief of the Criminal Case Investigation Division of the national Department of Provincial Administration and officers from Department of Intellectual Property.
Also present were local officials Kathu District Chief Sayan Chanachaiwong and Lt Col Saksan Khomsakhorn of Patong Police.
It was not revealed how many officers were used in carrying out the raids, or specifically which shops were raided.
However, the officers did announce that 10 “alien suspects” had been arrested and charged for selling counterfeit trademark items, but did not name any of the suspects or identify their nationalities.
The officers did report that most of the 10,000 items seized were counterfeit brand-name bags, shoes and clothes, including brands such as Nike and Adidas.
“This raid and seizure of illegal trademark items being sold came after we received reports from owners of the trademarks that copies of their goods were being sold in Phuket, especially in Patong, which is a ‘red area’ for counterfeit copyright goods,” Mr Mana said.
“Patong is one location in 21 provinces in the Internal Security Operations Command plan to protect against and to suppress intellectual property infringement,” he added.
“I want to warn other people who sell illegal fake trademark items that if they are caught, they will face legal action. This affects the image of the province and the nation,” he said.
“Officers will continue their raids to eradicate all illegal fake trademark items,” he vowed.
“The owners of markets and other buildings (where such goods might be sold) will be called in to be informed about selling illegal trademark items and asked to cop-operate by keeping their eyes on this – and to not to let any illegal trademark items be sold in their places.” Mr Mana said.
However, despite the high-brow press conference, specifically regarding the Patong raids, no officials made any mention of any attempt to identify who hired the foreigners to sell the fake goods or any attempt to track down where the fake goods originated from.