Press review on Counterfeiting (November 2018)
The General Directorate of Algerian Customs said that in 2017, more than 700,000 counterfeit glasses were seized nationwide. Mr. Kamel Kadi, head of the office in charge of the fight against counterfeiting Algerian Customs, regrets that some importers resort to methods “that may outsmart customs officers” (Aps.dz, 15 nov. 2018).
At the “Combatting Falsified and Substandard Medicine” Regional Conference held in Phnom Penh, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the sale of counterfeit medicines is on the rise and markets online were unregulated, making their control difficult. Mr. Hun Sen called for addressing this problem, including submitting the issue as part of inter-state and inter-institutional cooperation (khmertimeskh.com, 6 Nov. 2018).
Chinese police have dismantled a counterfeit condom production and distribution network. The condoms were sold as being manufactured by the Durex, Okamoto, Jissbon, and SixSex. Manufacturing facilities were located in Henan and Hubei provinces, and a packing plant was located in Zhejiang. The hygienic conditions were deplorable. The goods, whose dangerousness is proven, have been sold in hotels, supermarkets, and vending machines. The police operation resulted in the seizure of more than 500,000 boxes. 17 people were arrested in Henan, Hebei and Zhejiang provinces (scmp.com, 20 Nov. 2018; businessinsider.com, 23 Nov. 2018).
For the Singles Day, where e-commerce is a hot topic, many media have pointed out the extent of counterfeiting on Chinese e-commerce platforms. Some presented examples of counterfeit brands: “Ababis” for “Adidas”, “Balenciaca” for “Balenciaga”, “Caiwen Kani” for “Calvin Klein”, “Jack David” for “Jack Daniels”, “Star Wnrs” for “Star Wars”, “Lepin” for “Lego”, “Long Chang” for “Longchamp”, “Gogo Chenale” for “Coco Chanel” “or wines presented as Bordeaux, but with wacky names blooming more the ersatz that the vineyards of the Medoc: “The Heart of Freedom”, “Bravespirit”, “Dragon Were General” “(thestar.com.my, 11 Nov. 2018; Ledauphine.com, 12 nov. 2018; bfmtv.com, 11 nov. 2018).
Dubai Customs has worked with brand owners to recycle nearly 18 million counterfeit items. On this occasion, Mr. Yousef Ozair Mubarak, Director of the Intellectual Property Department, recalled that in the first half of 2018, about 130 seizures were made (gulftoday.ae, 2 Nov. 2018; thenational.ae, 2 Nov. 2018).
In the North of France, authorities dismantled a gang specialized in the counterfeiting of perfumes and cosmetics. Six were arrested. 421 flasks and 653 cosmetics products were seized. The goods made in China were bought in Belgium and resold on Facebook. The dangerousness of these counterfeit goods is proven: analyzes have revealed traces of antifreeze and urine (Francebleu.fr, 27 nov. 2018; 20minutes.fr, 26 nov. 2018; Actu.fr, 18 nov. 2018; Lavoixdunord, 26 nov. 2018).
In Roubaix, police officers intervening on a robbery were brought to seize 72 pairs of counterfeit shoes. Two individuals were arrested. The case has been transmitted to the customs (Nordeclair.fr, 16 nov. 2018; actu.fr, 15 nov. 2018; lavoixdunord.fr, 16 nov. 2018; grandlille.tv, 15 nov. 2018)
The Rennes court of the first instance (Britanny) sentenced New Europ’Arm and BO Manufacture for intellectual property infringement. These two companies distributed “replicas” of “Glock” weapons for which Cybergun has an exclusive license. New Europ’Arm and BO Manufacture must pay 50,000 euros in damages for counterfeiting and 10,000 euros for unfair competition. They must also destroy counterfeits (Actusnews.com, 19 nov. 2018; Investing.com, 19 nov. 2018).
The Boulogne-sur-Mer Criminal Court has sentenced to six months in prison, for fraud, a person who, in a state of recidivism, resale counterfeit goods on Facebook (Lavoixdunord.fr, 30 Nov. 2018).
As Christmas approaches, customs officials in Réunion are redoubling their vigilance to prevent the arrival of counterfeit toys on the island. In 2017, the number of counterfeits seized in Reunion rose from 100,000 to 140,000 (Linfo.re, 13 nov. 2018).
The Ghana textile trade union is challenging the government’s decision to introduce a tax stamp to stop the importation of substandard goods into the country, including counterfeit goods. The union considers this tax measure is not effective in combating counterfeiting in the textile sector in Ghana (Fratmat.com, 9 Nov. 2018).
In Nairobi, the authorities have seized counterfeit alcoholic beverages. The owner of the goods was arrested while delivering to a shopping center. The investigation revealed the existence of a warehouse containing several hundred boxes. He denied the infringement and argued that he had acquired the goods at an auction (nairobinews.nation.co.ke, 28 Nov. 2018).
In Casablanca, sellers have closed their shops to protest against the operations of control and seizure of counterfeit goods. They even lodged a complaint against an attorney, particularly for harassment (without further action), and created an association called Wifak Al Korea(tresor.economie.gouv.fr, Propriété intellectuelle et lutte anti-contrefaçon, No. 45, Décembre 2018, p. 7).
On the occasion of the Galien International Prize and the Galien Forum, held in Dakar on November 27 and 28, 2018, Senegalese President Macky Sall declared that the world can be saved from the scourge of counterfeiting and the illicit sale of drugs only through “international cooperation” (Journalducameroun.com, 27 nov. 2018).
In Johannesburg, counterfeit goods (shoes, clothing, and watches) were seized as a result of a police action into the basements of three buildings in the city center. Many brands were concerned: Adidas, All-Stars, Gucci, Hubot, The Mitina, Nike, Paul and Shark, Puma and Tom Ford. Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba reiterated his determination to fight counterfeits (iol.co.za, 30 Nov. 2018).
Customs intercepted a truck carrying two containers from Cape Town to Johannesburg. They discovered, among other goods, 86 boxes of clothing and shoes (Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, John Foster), intentionally hidden behind other goods. The suspected counterfeit goods were seized for further investigation (destinyconnect.com, 15 Nov. 2018).
In the Kampala region, Hewlett Packard and the Ugandan authorities have successfully conducted an operation to end the trade in counterfeit print cartridges. Several premises have been targeted, including large factory outlets and a manufacturing site. As a result, authorities seized more than 18,000 ready-to-sell cartridges (africanews.com, 13 Nov. 2018; securingindustry.com, 14 Nov. 2018).
United Arab Emirates
During 16 searches, the authorities discovered more than 300,000 Toyota-branded spare parts that turned out to counterfeit. The majority of counterfeit items seized from warehouses were ready for sale on the market, including oil filters, fuel filters, and candles. Last year, Toyota’s distributor, in collaboration with the UAE authorities, conducted 29 searches. Mr. Saud Abbasi, General Manager of Al-Futtaim-Toyota, recalled that counterfeit spare parts, of poor quality, can cause fatal accidents (gulfbusiness.com, 19 Nov. 2018).
In Barrow-In-Furness, a man appeared for selling counterfeit tobacco. 25,000 counterfeit cigarettes were seized. Much of the counterfeit goods had been hidden behind the fireplace in the living room. The accused pleaded guilty and was fined £ 1,000 (cumbriacrack.com, 8 Nov. 2018; nwemail.co.uk, 8 Nov. 2018).
As the holiday season approaches, British police warn of the dangers of counterfeit electrical appliances (power cables, hairdressing equipment, lithium batteries, telephones or computers). The awareness campaign, conducted in partnership with the UK Intellectual Property Office, is called “Shocking Fakes”. On this occasion, the authorities recall that a fire caused by the use of a telephone charger, which subsequently turned out to be counterfeit, caused a fire in London, which resulted in the evacuation of 20 people (illicit-trade.com, 26 Nov. 2018).
A mobile phone charger caused a serious fire requiring the intervention of forty fire soldiers. Police in Devon and Cornwall took the opportunity to point out the dangerousness of counterfeit electrical appliances and to encourage consumers to be extra vigilant when shopping online (Devonlive.com, 26 Nov. 2018).
In Lincolnshire, authorities have made a record seizure of over one million counterfeit and contraband cigarettes (horncastlenews.co.uk, 21 Nov. 2018).
The US manufacturer UL warns consumers that its electric fuel pumps are being counterfeited. Counterfeits bear UL Certification Marks for the United States. They have been detected on eBay (aftermarketnews.com, 16 Nov. 2018; ul.com, 16 nov. 2018)
In the port of Savannah (Georgia), authorities have intercepted $ 7 million worth of counterfeit goods (toys, electronics, and clothing), mostly from foreign countries such as China (counton2.com, 23 Nov. 2018; wjcl.com, 23 Nov. 2018; wtoc.com, 21 Nov. 2018).
In New Orleans (Louisiana), the massive anti-counterfeiting operation begun at Halloween continues (wdsu.com, 16 Nov. 2018).
In Brooklyn (New York City), a man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for importing counterfeit shoes (Nike, UGG and NFL) between May 2013 and January 2017. The counterfeits came from China (Qns.com, 2 Nov. 2018).
A Rochester (New York) man pleaded guilty to importing counterfeit pills that reproduce the brands Viagra and Cialis, drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Customs and border protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport intercepted a package sent to him. The package contained 3012 Viagra-branded pills and 190 Cialis-branded pills. The man will have to pay nearly 400 000 dollars to the pharmaceutical companies victims of the counterfeit. He also faces a prison term of between 37 and 46 months (democratandchronicle.com, 20 Nov. 2018)
In Guilderland (New York), the city police seized more than 450 cell phone accessories alleged to be counterfeit goods. The shop owner was arrested and charged with counterfeiting (timesunion.com, 2 Nov. 2018; cbs6albany.com).
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