Customs reveals its best busts in 2006

By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-04-17 07:02

The office of the National Working Group for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection yesterday announced customs' Top 10 successes in 2006.

On March 13, a large batch of counterfeit Motorola and Philips mobile phones were seized by Huangpu Customs in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province.

After customs reported the find to the city's police and the industrial and commerce bureau, the three agencies destroyed an underground operation that produced the phones and recovered 17,893 handsets valued at 730,000 yuan ($94,000).

The four suspects - one Hong Kong resident and three mainland residents - received betweeen eight and nine months' imprisonment for the crime of counterfeiting a registered trademark.

On February 10, Xiamen Customs in East China's Fujian Province received a declaration from a local company exporting sportswear to a Middle East country.

Using an advanced "risk analysis system", customs officers found many questionable points in the declaration and decided to examine the shipment.

Officers later seized more than 30,000 pieces of counterfeit sportswear and were praised by the Shanghai Lining Sports Utilities Company.

In August, Shenzhen Customs in South China's Guangdong Province discovered and confiscated 47,600 cartons of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes with a market value of more than 5 million yuan ($640,000).

Customs received a declaration from a company in Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province to export 15,180 plastic wraps to Hong Kong.

However, after conducting a risk analysis, officers became suspicious and opened the container to examine the goods. They found a huge amount of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes under 80 boxes of paper handkerchiefs.

On December 11, 2005, a customs officer at Beijing International Airport noticed a suspicious male passenger carrying only a black bag. The officer came up to interrogate him and learned he was taking a flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

Customs officers checked his bag on the X-ray machine and saw many black dots. After they opened his bag, they discovered 25,000 counterfeit Pfizer tablets and 20,000 other tablets.

On October 10, Changsha Customs in Central China's Hunan Province looked into a declaration by a Beijing company seeking to export a batch of batteries to Djibouti. After carrying out a risk analysis, officers decided to examine the goods further.

They found the batteries were marked with "Durata." After contacting the trademark owner - the Sichuan Huajing Guomao Industrial Company - customs confirmed the batteries were counterfeit.

The company said Durata batteries were popular in Middle Eastern and African markets, but were often made in the domestic counterfeit market.

In July, Qingdao Customs in East China's Shandong Province seized more than 20,000 m of counterfeit polyester cotton cloth with a value of more than 630,000 yuan ($81,000).

The trademark owner, the Oriental International Holding Shanghai Textile Import and Export Company, said the company's annual export volume was restored to its highest-ever level thanks to the customs' efforts in cracking down on counterfeits.

In March, Shanghai Customs seized 100,000 counterfeit Diamond bicycle inner tubes with a market value of 266,400 yuan ($34,000) destined for a South Asian country.

A month later, they seized a furtjer 50,000 counterfeit inner tubes of the same type destined for a South American country.

In August, Hangzhou Customs in East China's Zhejiang Province seized 41,304 pieces of counterfeit FIFA sportswear, with a market value of 1.276 million yuan ($164,000).

On October 13, David Gill, chief trademark advisor for the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) presented a silk banner as a gift to customs.

He praised their efforts to crack down on IPR violations and protect FIFA's interests.

In April, Ningbo Customs in East China's Zhejiang Province seized 310,000 counterfeit Tiger Head batteries destined for a port in the Middle East.

After contacting the trademark owner the Guangzhou Tiger Head Battery Group Company officers confirmed the goods were counterfeit.

In January, Tianjin Customs seized 10 containers filled with fake products, including sports shoes, shirts and leather belts.

The haul included counterfeit Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Lacoste and Levi goods with a market value of 420,000 yuan ($54,000).

(China Daily 04/17/2007 page4)

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