Mumbai: Beware, if a shopkeeper or an individual offers an expensive item at half price, it could be counterfeit products. Mumbai police are on a drive to crack down on the hubs that are currently flourishing by dealing with and selling counterfeit copies of gadgets.
“Counterfeit products are in great demand. For people, it’s like buying expensive products at cheap rates. Their need is fulfilled without burning their pockets down, so it’s a win-win for them,” explains Jehangir, who runs an electronic shop in the Fort area of Mumbai. He further added, “As much as it is tempting to get down in that (counterfeit) business, it’s profitable for the suppliers and risky as well. Not all counterfeit products are replicas of the original, they can be faulty – which can be bad goodwill for a businessman.”
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Police acts on tip-off by EIPR
On November 5, the MRA Marg police received a tip-off about the illegal business from Enforcers of Intellectual Property Rights (EIPR), an independent body that works against counterfeiting. A team of police then raided two locations in Fort – Gaurav Enterprises at Modi Street and Sainath Trading at Agyari Lane. They seized various fake products of Canon. Similar items were seized from the brands Hewlett-Packard (HP), Samsung, and Epson. Subsequently, the police arrested two individuals – Radheshyam Babulal Kanojia from Gaurav Enterprises and Prakash Kanji Ahir from Sainath Trading.
Meanwhile, a police official said the number of people involved in the case is enormous while spreading in the smallest of the small places. “If we arrest one group, four more come out of the same link. It is difficult to identify the suppliers but it’s not impossible. Through these crackdowns, we are trying to de-link their groups, and capture them,” said an official. Another shopkeeper in the same area, John D’souza, explained who are the ones that are interested in counterfeit products like cartridges, ink bottles, and toners.
“When your laptop or the system used by companies gets damaged, the first instinct is to approach the brand’s help centre and the service centre. However, they usually ask for hefty amounts, so you go local. The local guys prefer counterfeit products, as it is cheap and they can sustain (maximum) for a year. With the sustainable price they charge, people agree and keep visiting them every time they need help. This is a cycle, and it will only break,” explained John.A case has been registered against the two under the Indian Copyright Act.
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