Police will today issue summonses to the first batch of seven Thai celebrities for questioning over their alleged involvement with a well-known food-supplement brand at the centre of allegations that its products were sold without proper licences.
They are Lydia Sarunrat Deane, Ungsumalynn “Pattie” Sirapatsakmetha, Chutavuth “March” Pattarakampol, Apisada “Ice” Kruakongka, Virithipa “Woonsen” Pakdeeprasong, Puttichai “DJ Push” Kasetsin and Ornapa “Ma” Krisadee.
National police deputy chief Pol General Weerachai Songmetta said the celebrities’ claims about the products’ beautifying effects made in their “product review” advertisements might be considered for three charges: that they were contained an unfair-to-consumer advertisement message (punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of Bt300,000), giving false information about food supplement products’ benefits and quality (punishable with three years in jail term and a fine of up to Bt30,000), and illegal advertising of products’ benefits, quality and properties for commercial gain (punishable by a fine of up to Bt5,000).
He urged celebrities, as public figures, to check any goods in detail – especially their legal status – before agreeing to endorse them.
Weerachai said that police on Tuesday searched a factory in Samut Sakhon that reportedly manufactured products for a company, Magic Skin, which was found to have been illegally set up. Chemicals there were collected for testing, he added.
An initial police investigation found that the firm’s products had allegedly illegally used Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hallmarks; that the company allegedly produced substandard products that didn’t really contain sheep placenta as claimed; and that its advertisements were allegedly exaggerated. He cited an initial police probe that found the products were of low cost and the company made more than 100 per cent in profit when sold.
More celebrities – reportedly totalling 56 – would be summoned gradually later, Weerachai added.
Last week, police searched several factories linked to the firm and brought six suspects, including company owner Wannapa Poungson and her husband/accountant Korn Poungson, into custody, following several consumers’ complaint about the products. The couple’s lawyer insisted they were victims of bullying over a business conflict.
Weerachai said about 200 people had so far filed complaints against “Magic Skin” with the