Dubai Customs sees huge spike in seized goods

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @nawal_ramahi

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.

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