Hundreds of tonnes of unsafe products were confiscated and hundreds of non-compliant businesses were fined or shuttered in a nationwide crackdown that took place all throughout 2021, according to the Ministry of Commerce’s Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression General Directorate (CCF).
The CCF’s annual report, seen by The Post on November 30, said that for operations related to product quality and safety its officials inspected markets on 569 occasions, confiscating and destroying over 36 tonnes of non-compliant goods.
Officials also confiscated and destroyed 78 barrels or 2,340 litres of unbranded chemical products intended for agricultural or horticultural use.
According to the report, CCF officers also intercepted a truck transporting 7.1 tonnes of shrimp that had been injected with carboxymethyl cellulose jelly in order to make them appear to be bigger and fresher along with 320kg of pork offal.
The report said CCF officials from all over the country inspected 1,661 gas stations and found 693 locations that were selling normal octane gasoline as premium or had pumps that were not accurately measuring the quantity dispensed.
This year in particular due to the pandemic, CCF officials inspected the quality of alcohol in all kinds of hand sanitisers and even beverages and found many that contained methanol in markets and pharmacies.
They also raided methanol warehouses and confiscated a total of 191,953 litres of methanol. Methanol poisoning of people drinking bootleg or homemade rice wine has killed dozens of people in the Kingdom this past year.
CCF director-general Phan Oun told The Post that CFF also regularly investigated crimes related to counterfeit brands and circulation of counterfeit products.
He added that CCF had seized over 13 tonnes of counterfeit products this past year.
“CCF’s investigators, who also double as judicial police, found 682 cases and imposed penalties according to the type and severity of each crime with the worst instances being referred to court,” he said.
Oun said CFF faced many challenges this year due to lack of cooperation from certain institutions that have prevented the effective implementation of some policies, laws and regulations.
“Also, our laboratory’s analytical capabilities are still limited and we need to upgrade them to be in a better position to ensure effective analysis and evaluation in accordance with international standards. Consumers and businesses in Cambodia also need to gain a better understanding about the law and consumer standards,” he said.