The impossible has happened: you can no longer find fake designer goods at MBK.
For some time now, we'd been hearing complaints from tourist friends saying that they couldn't find fake watches and designer bags at MBK, so went down to the home of cheap knock-off gear to see if it was true.
After an hour scouring the familiar, strip-lit hallways on the G/F, 3/F and 6/F—always the best floors for an affordable Gucci—the only outright fake we came across was one B390 Supreme hoodie (pictured).
"There are no more copied goods in MBK," one store manager (name withheld) at a Thai designer brand told us. "There are police officers walking around every day, sometimes even sitting around and waiting for the shops to take out their fake products."
The staff in another store specializing in leather goods confirmed this. "The police officers have been checking almost every day for a little while now. You won't be able to find any of the fake designer bags anymore," she said.
Though we couldn't find any direct designer bag copies, we spotted a few designer bag-look-a-likes. Some followed the look of signature Hermes bags, while another, designed to look like Gucci, carried the name "Gocci."
"You will still see those kind of products around, as long as they don't have the actual brand put on the product, it's fine," said the Thai brand store manager.
MBK has long been the epicenter of Bangkok's counterfeit culture. Despite intellectual property laws in Thailand that stipulate up to four years in prison and a B400,000 fine for selling fake goods, a vast number of vendors at MBK have always openly sold products directly copying the look of big international brands.
The news that the shopping center no plonger provides a one-stop shop for Rolexes and Ralph Lauren Polos will come as a bitter blow to tourists everywhere.