BANGKOK (AP) – Police in Thailand announced Thursday they seized almost 900,000 counterfeit brand-name sunglasses at a warehouse where they also arrested two Chinese nationals accused of importing them from China. Thailand's Department of Special Investigation said the 895,897 sunglasses were purported to be famous brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
The department said the raid Wednesday also found fake stamps, stickers and labels that were part of the counterfeiting operation. Police explained that the sunglasses were imported from China, either whole or as parts, and had tags and stickers applied in Bangkok to make them seem as if they were brand-name goods.
A police attaché from the Italian Embassy in Thailand took part in a news conference announcing the raid. An Italian company, Luxottica Group, is the owner of several well-known brands, including Oakley and Ray-Ban, and holds contracts for many more.
The announcement said one of the suspects, Hong Jee Zu, had been convicted of similar offenses before and DSI would seek to have his visa revoked.
Thailand is a big producer and market for counterfeit products, leaving it vulnerable to trade sanctions from countries that make legitimate products. The government's Intellectual Property Office, which took part in the raid, has recently stepped up its activities as Thailand seeks to be removed from a U.S. watch list of countries where intellectual property violations are severe.