On September 25, 2014, Ms. Apiradee Tuntraporn, the Deputy Minister of Commerce in Thailand, presided over a destruction ceremony of counterfeit and pirated goods at the Crime Suppression Division in Phaholyothin, Bangkok. The ceremony was jointly organized by the Department of Intellectual Property, the Royal Thai Police, the Thai Customs Department, the Department of Special Investigation, and intellectual property owners.
The highlight of the event was the destruction of 692,961 items of counterfeit and pirated goods, weighing over 80 tons. The loss to the infringers, calculated on the basis of the retail prices of corresponding genuine goods, amounted to approximately THB 2 billion (approximately USD 67 million).
Mrs. Apiradee, commenting on the purpose of the event, stated: “the objective of this ceremony is to reinforce the Royal Thai Government’s steadfast commitment under the TRIPs agreement by ensuring that these infringing goods will never be reintroduced back into the channel of commerce.”
Different means of destruction were employed, which varied depending on the types of goods being destroyed. Many types of goods were destroyed, including shoes, bags, garments, mobile phone accessories, wristwatches, CDs, calculators, and electronic appliances, among many others. The goods that could not be recycled were destroyed by an incinerator, while the goods that were amendable to being taken apart were destroyed by the recycling process. A bulldozer, a cutting machine, and a waste grinder were also used in the first steps of destroying the goods.
The destruction ceremony was—from a practical standpoint—very important, as it prevented the recirculation of nearly 700,000 illicit goods. The event also stood as highly symbolic of the Thai Government’s war against fake products, and with such a large haul, one that it is apparently winning.