Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Where not to shop for pirate items: catalogue of raided stores

Phuket Raid Exposes Secret Pirate Stores: Copy Movie, Music Drought Tipped

Thursday, May 5, 2011
TOURISTS will have greater difficulty finding pirate movies and music on copy CDs after a Phuket crackdown busted secret sales rooms in raids on a total of 13 stores around Patong yesterday.

The arrest of 13 vendors and seizure of 100,000 copy CDs with a street value of 20 million baht triggered a protest by other vendors last night at Patong's Kathu Police Station.

The vendors claimed they should be protected from raids but local police said that the raids were ordered and carried out by Bangkok police and the Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre.

Three senior police from Bangkok led 30 officers from the capital in the raids, an indication that authorities in the capital may now be taking a closer look at corruption on Phuket.

Overseeing the raids was one of Thailand's most senior officers, the Permanent Secretary of the Thai Royal Police, Lieutenant-General Krisada Pankongchen. He was accompanied by Colonel Wisut Chatchaiyadet of the intellectual rights centre and Major Saksri Kairat, representing police connected with the powerful Sahamongkol Film distributors.

Sharp pirate CD sellers customarily send a courier off to fulfill a tourist's pirate request or lead buyers to secret compartments, sometimes behind hidden doorways. In yesterday's raids, some hoards of CDs had been secreted behind tailors' shops.

Patong's sellers were surprised by the scope and scale of the raids. Those that avoided arrest yesterday are likely to remain low-profile until the risk of a second series of raids is deemed to have passed.

In the past, vendors have alleged that regular payments to local police are intended to prevent their arrests. However, the vendors have been told that local police have no control over Bangkok raiders.

The 13 representatives from the stores along Soi Bangla, the beach road and Rat-U-Tit 200 Pi Road were being held last night without bail pending court appearances.

Many tourists purchase pirate CDs at low cost on their Phuket holiday, one of the unlawful attractions that has made the island popular with visitors from Australia and Europe.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Who dreams these numbers up and who thinks to ask how they are calculated. 20m baht from 100k CD's ?? So 200b per CD / DVD ??

These go for 60b a disc retail.. But at least it sounds good hey.. Police back to collecting the payments next week I guess.

Posted by LivinLOS on May 5, 2011 09:41

Editor Comment:

You'll find tourists are asked 200 baht a CD in Patong, LivinLOS. That's why we use the term ''street value.'' I guess it's been a while since you were a tourist.


the vendors have been told that local police have no control over Bangkok raiders...i.e. BKK police doing the refreshing. Maybe BKK police could also fix our tuk tuks / taxis / bars / traffic infringements etc etc.... for a while anyway.

Posted by benvenuto on May 5, 2011 09:55


I wonder when we'll have the first court case where a vendor sues the police for not honoring the bribe paid.

The fact that the vendors went to protest to the Police shows how deeply ingrained corruption on Phuket is.

I wish more and more officials from BKK start raiding all the ills that ail Phuket.

This is good news - keep it coming.

Posted by Chris on May 5, 2011 10:03


You notice how its BKK Police doing the raids, and not Phuket.

I wonder why this is. Are they more informed in BKK than they are in Phuket for some reason.

I can't agree with your last comment. You don't come here to buy pirated DVDs.

But anyway, I gurantee if I went to Patong tonight, I would find more "secret" shops...

As for tourists who pay 200, I have never witnessed anyone paying more than 100.

Posted by Tbs on May 5, 2011 10:05

Editor Comment:

''We'' certainly didn't come here to buy pirate CDs but as the paragraph says, ''Many tourists purchase pirate CDs at low cost on their Phuket holiday, one of the unlawful attractions that has made the island popular with visitors from Australia and Europe.''


Ed LivinLos is right.
I bought a whole stack of dvd's last week for 60B each. These shops even have big signs saying what the price is and why? The why....payments to the police of course.
Yes all there for any idiot to see in plain view.
EVEN the tourists pay 60B.
Ed, guess you don't get out much to buy dvd's then?

Posted by Robin on May 5, 2011 10:27

Editor Comment:

We conscientiously try to avoid breaking the law, Robin. It's probably time all those expats who spout so loudly and so often about corruption stopped breaking the law when it suits them. A little less hypocrisy on the part of many expats might achieve something.


Ed: Buying DVDs that are openly on sale at a fixed advertised price is breaking the law? Yes it might be copyright infringement, but who knows for certain? Also openly on sale are handbags, shoes, suits etc at prices below the value of the real thing but people who purchase them unwittingly are also ''breaking the law''? That is not my view and it is not Robin's view and I will continue to buy DVDs as and when available. It is the vendor who is breaking the law - if they stop selling, people will stop buying.

Posted by Pete on May 5, 2011 11:15

Editor Comment:

There's a large sign at Phuket airport warning departing passengers that they can now be charged in Europe over buying fake goods. Under the copyright law, you're encouraging theft. if there was no market, there would be no theft.


Torrents are fairly common knowledge these days. I'm surprised to find enough people still buy them for it to be worth it.

Posted by Joel M on May 5, 2011 11:48


The whole point is though, is that IF the Police did their job properly and not say - we can't arrest them because we need letters from BKK - which they have said something similar many times, then something may be done. But it's not the responsibility of the Tourists not to buy things that are openly on sale.
At the end of the day, it is down to the Police and the powers that be, to stop this happening.
And it's not - if there wasn't a demand for it, it wouldn't happen. That is a cop-out statement.
The Government and its people are responsible for the way their country is run and what goes on in it.

Posted by Tbs on May 5, 2011 13:30

Editor Comment:

You were going quite well until the line: ''The Government and its people are responsible for the way their country is run and what goes on in it.''

What you appear to be saying is that visitors don't have an obigation to make judgements about differentiating right from wrong. A cop-out indeed.


Can you please provide us with a revised Map indicating where the recently raided shops will be trading from again or can we assume they will be from the same locations!!!

Posted by mga [somewhere in thailand] on May 5, 2011 13:43


The big store chains and supermarkets selling computers almost always sell them preloaded with a fake copy of Windows OS whether you ask for it or not. Who is in the wrong here, the store or the purchaser? If the stores are breaking the law why is nothing ever done about it? The purchaser has an option and can buy genuine Windows when he gets home.

Posted by Pete on May 5, 2011 14:42

Editor Comment:

The purchaser can ask to have the real stuff installed at the store.


Yes, but at a price. He can also borrow a copy from a friend or maybe he has one at home already. You didn't answer my question - who is wrong?

Posted by Pete on May 5, 2011 14:54

Editor Comment:

The people who can't tell right from wrong are wrong.


Hi ED, got to hand it to you. Nice answer to Pete, about tourists being charged with fake goods in Europe? Wow they are righteous in Europe. What happens to the people who actually live here and the DVD's never leave Phuket?
Another quick one,who would be
"Stealing" from whom, if I pay 60 Baht for a copy movie and or paying 600 Baht for the genuine DVD?
Do you also now see the two edged sword swing both ways here?
PS. I also imported camera parts from overseas, sure I was quoted 3,995.00 Baht to buy here, but I only paid 3,100 Baht fully imported and under 1 year guarantee? So once again, who is stealing from whom?

Posted by Robin on May 5, 2011 17:22

Editor Comment:

There's nothing wrong with seeking an item at a more reasonable price, provided the people who created the goods are getting their fair share.


will they be sending phuket police to bangkok to raid shops next?

Posted by mikey on May 5, 2011 22:11


The guy that sold me the discs last time told me that the brides paid are very high because the majority of the money goes to their "bosses" in Bangkok. Can anyone tell me how this raid was any different than the ones before and most importantly how the outcome will change? BTW - I though prostitution was also illegal.

Posted by Loving copies on May 5, 2011 22:19


Editor Comment:
The people who can't tell right from wrong are wrong.
You certainly put the blame on a lot of people, Ed, the store managers, the provincial authorities, the police, the tuk-tuk drivers et al. The customer is always right.

Posted by Pete on May 6, 2011 08:00


It is good to see Thai authorities cracking down on intellectual piracy.
Some of the criminal syndicates are linked to Muslim extremists, siphoning funds to plot terror raids against Western and Asian nations.
Piracy also depletes the wealth of Western (and Asian) legitimate companies, affecting economic affluence and financial stability.

Posted by David Melbourne on May 6, 2011 09:38


It's absolutely RIDICULOUS to blame or attack the tourists buying or the sellers of pirated goods when the movie and music industry has for DECADES ILLEGALLY colluded to inflate the prices of movies and music (DVDs and CDs). The Industry has been ROBBING the customers blind since the days of Beta/VHS and cassette tapes! You don't think the ONLY reason the BKK police are raiding Phuket is because Industry is putting pressure (and likely paying them as well) to conduct these raids. ??? How clueless can you be and blame the tourists buying at a REASONABLE price? Research the class action lawsuits Industry has been forced to settle out of court. And plz don't bother with the absurd lawyer spin that settling a class action lawsuit doesn't mean guilt. Reality - YES IT DOES! The Industry would NEVER settle if they didn't know 100% they were guilty and would lose BILLIONS if it went to a jury. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Posted by Baksida on May 6, 2011 15:13

Editor Comment:

Just reassure me that the musicians, the directors, the actors all get a cut from the items sold in Patong and I won't continue to argue that's it's theft.


Both the buyer AND the seller are in the wrong. Of course. And should be dealt with, either here on location or at home. Pirated products are a big deal, a huge problem.

Posted by christian on May 9, 2011 09:53


Christian: I fully agree with you but: the items should not be up for sale to the public in the first place. In the case of watches, handbags, suitcases, eyewear etc. the buyer runs the risk of being caught at his home destination and the items confiscated. DVDs, although illegal can be copied to a flash drive and nobody would know. For those of us who live here on a permanent basis purchasing DVDs relieves the boredom of watching the oft repeated old movies on television. I swap DVDs with many friends here, some of whom have huge collections. At 60-100 baht they are good value. Illegal, I know, but if they are available!

Posted by Pete on May 9, 2011 12:43


I would hazard a guess that almost everybody owns or wears some "knock off" item and to spout about illegal copying is a trifle hypercritical. Not unlike the fact that many of us are knowingly or unknowingly consumers of "sweat shop/child labor" produced items..."what the eye don't see.."

Posted by david006 on May 16, 2011 04:07


well there can't be that many more sellers to arrest until the problem is solved?

Posted by tim in phuket on June 4, 2011 18:40

Wednesday December 8, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter