Dubai seizes more than Dh330 million worth of fake goods

Authorities reveal figures from a bumper year in war on counterfeit products

Enforcement officers at the Department of Economic Development destroy counterfeit goods during a raid by consumer protection officers in 2019. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Fake goods worth a staggering Dh332 million were seized and destroyed by Dubai authorities during 2018, new figures have revealed.

The Department of Economic Development said a total of 19.9 million counterfeit items were confiscated from traders in the emirate.

The value of fake items is down on figures from 2016, when the DED announced it had recovered goods worth Dh1.6 billion.

Mohammed Lootah, chief executive of the DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection division, said the drop in value of seized items showed authorities were winning the war on fake goods.

“Our achievements in 2018 confirms our role in maintaining round-the-clock vigil by way of investigation, field visits and random searches to detect counterfeit products and seize them,” he said.

“We also seek co-operation from trademark owners and law firms in our efforts.”

A breakdown of the figures revealed that cosmetics ranked first in the number of fraudulent goods seized.

Authorities recovered some 4.9 million pieces — 28 per cent of the total find — which had a combined black market value of Dh88.3 million.

Some 2.3 million phones and accessories worth an estimated Dh98 million were also seized, as well as 151,165 fake watches worth Dh21.7 million.

Brand protection has been a key goal of the DED in 2018, with a crackdown on illegal sales of counterfeit goods in areas such as Karama.

“Overall, cosmetics, duplicate packing cases and phone accessories accounted for almost 50 per cent of the counterfeit goods confiscated in 2018,” said Ibrahim Behzad, a director at CCCP.

“The remaining goods included auto parts, clothing, electrical equipment and plumbing material. Our team conducts organised and random campaigns against counterfeit goods year-round.”