Dubai Customs sees huge spike in seized goods
By Nawal Al Ramahi Tougher inspections of fake goods and tighter controls at ports have led to a huge rise in confiscated items.
The Regional Conference on Combating Crimes Against Intellectual Property opened yesterday as it was revealed that Dubai Customs inspectors have seized fakes worth Dhs49 million this year – up from Dhs17 million in 2015.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said there has been an “upsurge” in seizures this year.
The fake products included bags, sunglasses and unreliable electronic goods.
He said: “Dubai Customs recorded 139 cases of trademark infringement with a seized haul of counterfeit products worth around Dhs49 million. This year’s record has made a significant upsurge from last year’s total record of 135 confiscations, valued at nearly Dhs17 million.”
The first day of the conference focused on the damage the fakes industry causes to both the local economy and major brands that produce luxury goods.
Stopping the goods before they enter the country is a key challenge. But there is also a crackdown on goods that make it to the markets.
As 7DAYS reported in July, fakes dealers have been turning to home deliveries and orders by WhatsApp to evade almost daily raids in markets such as Karama.
Today, officials are expected to announce tougher penalties for sellers.
At present, the Department for Economic Development hands out a Dhs15,000 fine for the first offence, Dhs30,000 for the second and shuts down stores the third time.
Mohanned Al Ali, from Sharjah Economic Development Department, said the net has become tighter for fakes dealers.
He said: “The department has been continuously cracking down stores to make sure they don’t sell fake or illegal goods.”
Ali Al Mansouri, an Emirati lawyer, said the fakes industry has grown substantially as the city has attracted more and more tourists. He said: “The emirate’s popularity as a shopping destination made it a magnet for counterfeiters.”
Also on the agenda is the global trade of fake medicine.
Michele Ramis, French Ambassador at large on transnational criminal threat, told the conference that lives that are being lost.
She told delegates: “The issue of counterfeit products must be addressed due to the damage they cause. Almost 700,000 people die due to fake medicine.
“We have to work together and organise our action to tackle this issue.”
The conference continues today at the InterContinental Festival City.