Court hands employee in used gloves case 4 years

Court hands employee in used gloves case 4 years

One of three parties indicted in a criminal case linked to the recent export of millions of used medical gloves to the United States has been sentenced to four years in prison, the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) said on Tuesday.

Phiphatphon Homchanya, an employee of Paddy the Room Trading who was identified as the third suspect in the glove export fraud case, was at first given eight years in a ruling handed down by the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court last Wednesday, said Prayuth Petchkhun, deputy spokesman of the OAG. The sentence was commuted to four years because the accused confessed.

The other two parties named as suspects were Paddy the Room Trading and Luk Fei Yang Yang, a Chinese executive of the company, said Mr Prayuth.

The three faced multiple charges for colluding to produce medical supplies without permission and using trademarks belonging to other companies with intent to deceive customers, he said. Luk Fei Yang Yang, meanwhile, has since gone on the run. Police are still trying to track him down, said Mr Prayuth.

Luk Fei Yang Yang was first detained when the police raided the company's factory in Pathum Thani's Lam Luk Ka district on Dec 24, said a source.

At that time, machines worth about 300 million baht were seized for inspection, said the source.

The machines were believed to have been used to produce counterfeit medical supplies including medical gloves, said the source, adding that a large number of medical glove packages with the trademark SkyMed on them were also found at the scene.

Sufficiency Economy City, which owns the trademark, subsequently lodged a complaint with the police insisting it had nothing to do with Paddy the Room Trading or the company's unlawful use of the SkyMed trademark, said the source.

A months-long CNN investigation found that tens of millions of counterfeit and second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, according to import records and distributors who bought the gloves -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In February and March this year one US company warned two federal agencies -- Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration -- that it had received shipments filled with substandard and visibly soiled gloves from one company in Thailand, according to the same report by CNN.

The Thai company managed to ship millions more gloves in the following months, the report said.

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