11 July 2024

Thailand’s Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court has sentenced a Thai employee of the “Paddy the Room” trading company to four years in prison. The firm allegedly exported about ten million pairs of used rubber medical gloves to the United States.

According to Deputy Spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General Prayut Petchkun, the court found Pipatpon Homjanya and his employer guilty of producing and trading in substandard medical gloves and medical equipment and using the trademark of other companies without permission.

He said that public prosecutors had decided not to indict the company’s managing director, Taiwanese businessman Luk-fei Yang Yang, who faced similar charges because he has already fled Thailand.

Pipatpon pleaded guilty during the trial and the court sentenced him to eight years in prison but commuted the term to four years due to his confession.

“Paddy the Room” entered into a deal with American company “AirQueen”, to export US$2.7 million worth of medical gloves from Thailand to the US during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic there. The gloves, however, were found to be pre-used and repackaged, according to an investigative report by CNN.

The scam eventually led to the kidnap for ransom of Wei Yu Chung, a Taiwanese executive of the firm, at a restaurant in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok in March this year, allegedly by a group of Americans, including Louis Ziskin, reportedly the CEO of “AirQueen”.

Chung was later freed and several Thais and Americans, including Ziskin, were arrested by Crime Suppression Division officers. Ziskin was released upon lack of sufficient evidence, according to his lawyer, and left Thailand in August.

In an exclusive interview with Thai PBS World last week from his home in Los Angeles, Ziskin insisted on his innocence in the abduction case, saying Wei asked him to meet up for dinner the day of the alleged abduction and the Taiwanese was in good spirits without any bruises. He claimed his face was interspersed into the video of the kidnap.

Ziskin also pointed to “a retired General living in Lopburi” as the mastermind behind the scam he dubbed “medical terrorism”.