Thai operation uncovers $2.1m in counterfeit cosmetics

Police in Thailand have seized about 70m baht ($2.1m) in fake cosmetics infringing the intellectual property of 18 brands.

The counterfeits were discovered during a raid on a property in Bangkok’s Suan Luang district by police and officials from Thailand's FDA.

The seizure operation was carried out on March 14 but announced on Friday in an FDA statement (in Thai). It was prompted by complaints from customers that they had purchased cosmetics online believing them to be genuine, only to find later that they were of low quality and presumably fake.

Five suspects are being sought in connection with the allegations, who could face charges of illegally selling cosmetics without required labels, selling unregistered cosmetics, and/or possessing products with fake trademarks or certification marks with intent to sell.

The gang are thought to be led by a Vietnamese national living abroad who owned the raided property, which served as storage of the counterfeit cosmetics. Thai nationals were hired to open bank accounts and receive money transfers.

It is thought that the network sold nearly 120m baht ($3.6m) in fake cosmetics over a six-month period. The counterfeits caused side effects such as skin rashes in some people who used them, according to the FDA.

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