Fake Alaska merchandise at tourist shop outside Denali National Park leads to restraining order


Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor obtained a temporary restraining order against Sunil Thapa, the owner of The Himalayan, also known as Mt. McKinley Clothing Co., a tourist shop located just outside Denali National Park.

The Superior Court Judge Earl Peterson issued the restraining order on the grounds of deceptive practices following a complaint filed by Taylor’s office on July 19.

The allegations indicate that Sunil Thapa, along with his wife, Trishna Thapa, and son, Tejash Thapa, engaged in deceptive business practices related to the shop’s merchandise. The family business was importing clothing, jewelry, and other products from foreign countries such as Nepal, and claiming the goods were made by Alaska Natives in Yakutat.

“My office will not tolerate false claims that products were made by Alaska Natives or that proceeds from sales will be used for charitable purposes. We will not allow businesses that lie to consumers to gain an unfair competitive advantage over the many excellent stores that sell legitimate Alaskan Made or Alaska Native products,” Taylor said.

The complaint says the three Thapas made false claims about their store being a nonprofit arm of the “Yakutat Village Council,” and that proceeds from sales would be directed towards charitable projects such as building schools and a rehabilitation center in Yakutat.

The temporary restraining order granted by Judge Peterson imposes several restrictions on The Himalayan and its owners, including:

  1. Prohibition of selling any products without proper country-of-origin markings.
  2. Requirement to present evidence of products being made in the USA or in Alaska before labeling them as such.
  3. Prohibition from claiming The Himalayan as a nonprofit entity or using its proceeds for charitable purposes.
  4. Prohibition from making any other false written or oral statements during the course of selling their products.

The Himalayan, at the Denali Village RV Park and Boardwalk Mall, retained a large sign from the previous occupants, Mt. McKinley Clothing Co., leading people to still refer to it as such.

The complaint filed against the Thapas sheds says there is no such entity as the “Yakutat Village Council” and that the defendants have no affiliations with any government entities in Yakutat, including the City and Borough of Yakutat or the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. Additionally, there is no evidence of any donations made by the defendants to government agencies or charities in Yakutat, as claimed.

As part of the investigation, the complaint explained that an undercover purchase was made at The Himalayan, where Trishna Thapa, one of the defendants, falsely represented the store as a nonprofit organization owned by the fake “Yakutat Village Council.”

Trishna claimed that she was working as a volunteer at the store. During the purchase, Trishna assured the undercover investigator that all the items available in the store were handmade or homemade, and said nothing was made in China.

One specific purchase made during the undercover operation was a hooded sweater designed to resemble a kuspuk. The label on the sweater claimed that it was “hand knitted” in Alaska. Trishna stated that the sweater was made from Alaskan alpaca wool.

Trishna also suggested that the proceeds from the sale of the sweater would contribute to the construction of a new rehabilitation center in Yakutat.

As investigators developed their case, they discovered products in storage with “Made in Nepal” labels that were just like the ones that were on the sweaters, and the investigators also found discarded “Made in Nepal” labels.


  1. Just take the three of them down to Yakatat.

    Turn them over to local native artists and let them scrub toilets for 3 years.

  2. Apparently the AG is concerned with businesses lying but is completely unconcerned with superintendents and principals lying. Good job protecting businesses while leaving our children in the hands of liars and thieves.

    • He’s also not concerned by the deceptive practices in foisting RCV on the state ” it will eliminate dark money in campaigns”

  3. Was this business by chance affiliated with the non-Alaskan tour industry as well? Giving a percentage to Princess, by chance? They issue a list of “approved “ businesses and discourage their tourists to buy from legitimate local businesses. Unless they get a cut.

  4. I’d bet if they’d advertised their goods as made in Nepal, they’d have made more money, in say, Anchorage, than at Denali Park. Too bad they had to lie about it. Once the lies start rolling, there’s no stopping the bad faith. (But, who sets up a business at Denali and calls themselves, or even continues whatever was there before with a name like ‘Mt McKinley Clothing Co.’?)

  5. These two are just the new generation of American immigrants. Come to America for its wealth without leaving behind their culture, language, customs, behavior of their birth country. They just here for money.

  6. “My office will not tolerate false claims that products were made by Alaska Natives or that proceeds from sales will be used for charitable purposes…”
    Really? Isn”t it the legislature that “will not tolerate” certain activities so therefore writes laws defining crime? Doesn’t our governor hire an AG to enforce the laws impartially? Do we need an AG office to tolerate or “not tolerate” anything? Don’t we just need them to do their job impartially like any good servant?

  7. Juneau has had this problem for years. It started with the Chinese totem poles and then all that jewelry from dubious origins. Sadly enough, the Russian arts and goods store got chased out by no fault of their own aside from being of Russian decent.

    • The amount of crap we sell downtown is embarrassing.

      But, to a degree, if a tourist goes into a store staffed with people who can barely speak English and are selling plastic totems, there is a certain amount of buyer beware.

      If the price is too good, the “native” souvenirs … aren’t.

      • Again, these are not Alaska owned businesses. Nearly every owner has a Seattle address. So what can you expect? And they have a special deal with the tour industry to promote their Chinese products. It ain’t locals doing the majority of the fleecing, and most of the tourist dollars leave the state.

  8. What kind of Alaskan shops at a tourist trap anyways? Only a maroon shops in a place like that to begin with.

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