I have been watching ThaiVisa.com lately. Have friends over there. This news story came through today about a protest at the Thai-Cambodia Friendship Bridge (Can’t make this stuff up!)
Thai security officials ordered the temporary closure of the border checkpoint at Aranyapraythet Saturday after more than 300 Cambodian labour and border traders protested the Thai authorities over tightened checks on their second-hand merchandises wheeled in for sale at the Talad Rong Kluea market.
Thai border security stepped up checks on merchandises from Cambodia to sell at Talad Rong Kluea market after they seized huge volume of counterfeit brand-name merchandises hidden among cargoes the Cambodian traders declared as second hand clothes on Thursday.
The counterfeit goods were contained in bags loaded in pushcarts wheeled across the border from Poi Pet to Aranyaprathet’s Talad Rong Kluea market. The protest started in the morning when Cambodian labour blockaded the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge and demanded the release of their colleagues arrested Thursday on charge of smuggling counterfeit brand name goods into Thailand.
I found this interesting enough, but as I glanced through the comments I noticed this, Disinfonaut that I am. “ratcatcher” asked;
Is this ‘brand name’ counterfeit merchandise ending up in Thai retail outlets or are the Khmers merely peddling the stuff at Rong Kluea market? Since Cambodia has a relatively small population by comparison with Thailand, where does all this “used’ clothing originate? The Sally Ann, NYC?(sic)
That seemed like a good question, and the next commenter answered it. (BTW; Farang or Falang is the Thai word for Caucasian.) Rongkluea Market images too many to even try it, it’s monstrous. crazygreg44 wrote;
if you have never been there ( the Rongkluea Market) I don’t blame you for not knowing. It’s a very very weird universe on it’s own.
All or MOST of these second hand clothes, shoes, socks, tees and Army&Hunter garments are FROM THE U.S.A.
After, inside the U.S.A., all sizes XXL to XXXXL have been sorted out (these sizes go to Africa, as the population there is taller), the rest gets shipped to 3rd world country shores, preferably Cambodia. There literally must be HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of PIECES of clothes leaving US shores EVERY MONTH, with destination Asia.
These clothes have been donated to charities inside the U.S. and then been handed along. The U.S.A. ship them to Cambodia all free for the Cambodian people. But the clothes never reach the people they are intended for.
Once in Cambodia, the “ruling few” SELL the donated for free clothes to middle men, the millions of clothes get sold by the weight , maybe even by “sea container” !!
When the clothes have finally reached the Thai second hand Rongkluea market, they have already passed through the hands of a few more “midlemen”. So you can imagine the donated clothes now cost the poor people they were donated for, quite a bit of $$donkeydough$$. For example, a 2nd hand Levis sells for 20-40 THB, depending how many you buy. You can buy them by the tens or hundreds or thousands. All your needs can be handled, no problem.
Maybe in the place you live in Thailand, you may have noticed most clothes stalls on “night markets” sell 2nd hand gear. These people either buy, again, from middle men, who have bought from Rongkluea. Actually MOST 2nd hand clothes that are traded on inside Thailand have passed this market, only excluding those that families hand on as second hand after buying them new at Tesco’s and BigC’s.
The Rongklua Market ist a MUST HAVE SEEN destination for anyone who is interested in Asian culture and trade. It’s probably one of the world’s largest second hand clothes market. You need days to have seen it all.
Even as a Farang, one can buy some VERY RARE pieces ( if you discover them!!) , some stall owners there are willing to sell you one piece out of the thousands they stock, if you wish so. But don’t expect a wholesale price, as they are used to trade in hundreds.
Maybe if you have ever watched traffic anywhere in Thailand, you will discover many young thai guys riding motosais who are wearing a black t-shirt, and on it’s back it says “BARNETT’s Clutches” and the Harley Eagle, I assume Barnett T-shirt owners must be America’s largest donator group of ’em all . . . . as this Tee is a common view on Thai roads. (sic)
My guess is that what is donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army is not what we are talking about here, but you never know. I would think this has more to do with our wasteful retail market system, and clothing corporations getting their waste out of their warehouses. But you have to consider the quantity of goods that this man is describing, and wonder at the immense scope of waste that the U.S. systematically generates, and how it is feeding a black market and helping to victimize the very people it sought to help in the first place. I also see more than a little irony in the fact that these goods were likely made in Southeast Asia in the first place.
I would love to write that Barnett’s Clutches declined to comment, but I didn’t bother them. It is 5:oo in the morning.