Thailand’s Customs Department issued a statement saying that the internal investigation will be completed within 15 days after the agency opened a watch auction offering at least four fake luxury watches worth 9.1 million baht from brands such as Rolex, Richard Mille, and Patek Phillips.
Panthong Loikulnan, a Customs Department official, apologized after a recent auction of 13 seized fake luxury watches revealed that at least four of the watches were counterfeit. Following concerns about the July 6 auction, the money of the auction winners was reimbursed.
The customs administration has already formed a committee to investigate the public’s suspicions about whether these luxury watches were already counterfeit when they were confiscated or if they were later faked.
During a Customs operation at the Siam Square One retail store, these watches were seized. One of the 14 watches discovered was a counterfeit, while the rest were legal. As a result, Customs said on June 28 that the agency will hold a product demonstration on July 5, and the results would be announced on July 6. There were a total of 18 participants.
“We sincerely wish to accept responsibility and apologise for the error.” We sincerely apologise for including counterfeit luxury watches in the auction. “Customs verified the authenticity of the products prior to the auction,” Panthong explained.
Panthong further stated that he discussed the auction procedure with Customs Director General Pachara Anantasilp in order to avoid making such mistakes in the future. In the event that an auction participant brings the product for external verification, the department is considering engaging with a verification specialist for inspection and will minimise the requirements.
Previously, the participant was required to turn in 25% of the total auction value. The department also stated that the future auction will be postponed until internal protocols are adjusted.
One of the bidders who received the false watch, Kittanachai Chimsutti, claimed he trusted the organisation and was unhappy. When he sent a picture of the watch for verification, he was told right away that it was a forgery. He will seek restitution because he thinks this action a squandered opportunity, and receiving fake luxury watches saddens him.