Officials warn of unscrupulous vendors trying to profit from famous Pala U durian

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Officials in Prachuap Khiri Khan have tightened controls in a bid to stop unscrupulous traders from cashing in on the reputation of durian from Pala-U.

Durians grown in Pala-U are known throughout Thailand for their superior quality and flavour.

However, in recent weeks, officials in Hua Hin have received complaints that vendors are claiming to sell Pala U durian when in fact the durians on sale have been grown elsewhere.

The vendors claim the durians are from Pala U so they can sell that at a higher price.

After receiving the complaints, officials inspected some vendors located on the Cha Am-Pranburi bypass road in Thap Thai and Hin Lek Fai.

They found a shop which displayed signage claiming that Pala U durians were on sale.

However, when officials checked with the operators of durian plantations they discovered that Pala U durians are not yet available for sale.

Mr. Watchara Kamphon, president of Huai Sat Yai Subdistrict Administrative Organization, stated that production of Pala U durians has already begun at plantations in Huai Sat Yai.

However, the first harvest is only very small, with just 170 durians produced. Because of the small harvest, there was only enough durians to sell direct from the orchard and not enough to be distributed to the vendors who trade from the bypass road.

People can only buy Pala U durians in Prachuap Khiri Khan, with people traveling from all over Thailand to sample the famous but often polarising fruit.

Officials say that traders infringing on the name of Pala U durians is a real problem and could impact the reputation of durians grown in Pala U.

Officials said that they plan to launch a criminal case against the trader who was caught deceiving customers and warned other traders they face fines of up to 60,000 baht and/or three years in jail for people who falsely claim to sell Pala U durians.

In addition, officials said measures will be introduced to tighten the distribution of Pala U durians.