Forty tons of counterfeit ground coffee and eight tons of raw ingredients were seized from a factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on Tuesday in what an Interior Ministry police official called the country’s largest such seizure to date.
Long Sreng, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s economic crime police, said the unnamed factory had a license to make Mekong-brand coffee, but that packaging confiscated indicated it was also producing low-grade coffee under several other brand names, including Diamond, Kim Buong, Nam Nguyen, Tay Nguyen, Laos, Ratanakiri and Viet Nguyen.
“We spent 10 days investigating the factory and confirmed that fake coffee being sold in markets across the country was produced in this factory in Khmuonh commune,” Brigadier General Sreng said.
He said the factory was closed down following the raid, while its owner, Sang Dara, 42, was arrested and faces up to a year in prison over the scam.
“We arrested four people including the owner,” the general said, adding that the factory was believed to have packaged its inferior coffee under the names of Cambodian, Vietnamese and Laotian brands for the past seven years.
“Fake coffee is low quality and a risk for coffee drinkers,” he said.