Dubai – MENA Herald: Over 3.5 million duplicates of reputed smart phone brands and eyewear intended to be sold locally and overseas were confiscated recently in a major crackdown by the Intellectual Property (IP) Protection team from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai.
The counterfeit goods were unearthed during a random inspection in three warehouses in Al Qusais and International City. Over 2.6 million sunglasses and power sunglasses worth AED 125 million were confiscated from two warehouses in Al Qusais. The confiscated goods were duplicates of 18 well-known brands of eyewear.
Meanwhile, the raid in International City yielded 61,768 duplicates of reputed smart phones and 899,000 accessories worth AED 70 million.
The inspection was part of DED’s ongoing campaign to protect the rights of trademark owners as well as consumers and keep the local market free of counterfeits and commercial fraud. It took 26 hours to sort the goods before confirming the fraud and 31 trucks were used to move them.
“This seizure is the largest of its kind and the result of our continuous efforts to protect brands. It also reaffirms the commitment of the Government of Dubai to promoting fair trade, maintaining transparency and impartiality in upholding intellectual property rights and acting against those who violate the rights of trademark owners,” said Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, Executive Director of CCCP. Lootah added that the confiscated goods will be destroyed as they pose a serious risk to the health of consumers. “These products are often manufactures with scant respect for international standards and they can be harmful to consumers, for example, the batteries in the smart phones could explode while charging. We would like to caution consumers against falling prey to traders who ignore safety standards and instead manipulate and mislead consumers.” Ibrahim Behzad, Director of the Intellectual Property Protection division in DED, said traders and perpetrators of counterfeit goods use latest technology and innovative techniques to hide the brand names at their point of entry to Dubai. “Some of them even bring counterfeit goods in parts and assemble them here. As part of our fight against counterfeiting we regularly train our inspectors and commercial compliance teams in co-operation with trademark owners to update them on the latest methods of fraud and ways to identify fake products,” added Behzad. Behzad stated DED meets with owners of registered trademarks to alert them on commercial fraud, in addition to conducting joint inspection campaigns with other government agencies concerned. Consumers can report fraudulent practices on the Ahlan Dubai call centre number 600 54 5555, through the smart phone application Sallety, Twitter handle Dubai_consumers or on the Dubai Consumer channel on Blackberry phones.