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1st Thai Firm Indicted in Soiled-Glove Export Scandal

Piles of dirty, suspected second-hand nitrile gloves were found in a raid on a warehouse in Bangkok, December 2020. The Thai FDA said fraudulent companies package gloves like these for resale around the world.
Piles of dirty, suspected second-hand nitrile gloves were found in a raid on a warehouse in Bangkok, December 2020. The Thai FDA said fraudulent companies package gloves like these for resale around the world. (Photo: CNN)

Public prosecutors indicted Paddy The Room Trading Co. for its role in the scandal involving the export of hundreds of millions of soiled, bloody medical gloves exposed by a CNN report.

The Royal Thai Police Office said the wider investigation into export of substandard personal protective equipment continues, but could be wrapped up within a month.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit disclosed the indictment following a Wednesday meeting of a fact-finding committee hastily formed after the explosive 2,700-word report.

For the export of used medical gloves, the committee ordered the national police office to investigate it and take legal action against wrongdoers.

Officials initially found no evidence linking any politician or official to a medical glove case and believed that only a group of business operators was involved, he said.

The Thai Food and Drug Administration raided Paddy the Room in December, finding found stacks of trash bags filled with loose, multicolored gloves of materials and quality.

Workers were stuffing the old gloves into counterfeight SriTrang-brand boxes, making it seem as if they came from the legitimate, well-known manufacturer which said it has never done business with the shady dealer.

Tens of millions of dollars of those fake boxes of dirty gloves ended up in the U.S., passed off as much-sought nitrile when, in fact, most were made of low-grade rubber of vinyl and covered in dirt and even blood.

Veerasith Sincharoenkul, president of the Thai Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association, said the actions reported by CNN soiled the reputation of Thai rubber-glove producers among American and European buyers, country’s main markets.