Dubai shop stop reveals fake toilet fittings

700 fake bathroom appliances were fitted under the mis-spelled name Kohlar, instead of Kohler.

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DUBAI // A major DIY retailer was ordered to remove its public bathrooms after it was discovered they were fitted out with counterfeit sanitary ware.

The toilets and other bathroom appliances were found to be Chinese-made copies of products sold by an American firm, Kohler.

"We found out about it through coincidence," said Mohammed Nada, regional marketing manager at Kohler. "One of our colleagues was using the bathroom and found the products."

The retailer, which Mr Nada declined to name, was visited by inspectors from the Department of Economic Development last month, and was found to have 700 fake products installed.

"They were very supportive, they didn't know," Mr Nada said. "That's why they accepted that we had to uninstall the products and destroy them."

The products were believed to have been made by a Chinese manufacturer. The local distributor of the products was fined Dh50,000. No compensation was made to the retailer.

The items, sold under the misspelt name "Kohlar", affected his company's business, Mr Nada said. "People don't look too closely at the name, so they think it's the same product," he said. "It really affects the quality perception of our product."

This was the first time the company had initiated a raid by the DED, although Mr Nada said there may be more in the future.