Dubai Police arrest two counterfeiters with fake watches worth Dh1.2 billion

Fakes of Cartier, Gucci, Rolex could sell for as much as Dh100,000 each, officers said

Two men were arrested in Dubai with counterfeit watches worth Dh1.2 billion.

The police tracked down the Asians to two apartments in the city's Naif area on January 2, an hour after getting a tip-off.

The watches were confiscated and will be destroyed.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, director of CID, said officers "roamed markets collecting information".

A video showed armed police forcing open the door of an apartment and finding trays of watches.

“We seized 29,187 fake watches carrying nine international brands, including Cartier, Gucci, Rolex, among others,” he said.

The watches are worth as much as Dh1.2 billion and will be destroyed in the presence of the retailers of the brands, police said.

One of the suspects is a UAE resident with previous minor criminal charges against him while the other man was on a visit to the country.

“Since Dubai is a destination for investments, it’s our duty to secure these, and in order to continue doing so, we are constantly developing our strategies and security systems,” said Brigadier Al Jallaf.

Dubai Economic Department (DED) works closely with the police to expose criminals trading billions of dirhams in counterfeit goods, said Ibrahim Behzad, director of intellectual property rights protection with the department.

According to DED, the value of fake goods recovered in 2018 amounted to Dh332 million, a significant drop from Dh1.6 billion in 2016.

Fake perfumes and cosmetics make up the biggest share of counterfeit products seized in the emirate.

Retailers and distributors praised the efforts of the police in combating the sale of illegal and fake products.

“We thank them for what they do in the war against counterfeit goods,” said Mohammed Abdulmajid Seddiqi, the vice president of sales at Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, the largest distributor of Swiss watches in the Middle East.

“Every two years, we hold the Dubai Watch Week with our partners to educate people about counterfeit products.

“Some people were duped into buying watches for Dh100,000 [only to] discover it was a fake one. We want to help save customers from falling victims to such scams,” he said.