Customs officials in Dubai recycled counterfeit products worth an estimated Dh1 million ($272,000).
More than 134,000 items from 42 fake brands were seized, including designer bags, watches, gloves, glasses and car parts, authorities said.
The counterfeit goods were recycled in the presence of representatives from the US, Germany, Japan and the UK. The products were copies of popular brands from these countries.
“Recycling counterfeit goods is a great option for brand owners. It protects their rights and prevents any illegitimate competition,” said Yousef Ozair Mubarak, director of the Intellectual Property Rights Department.
Mr Mubarak said the confiscated goods were disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
“Recycling allows us to convert unusable counterfeit goods into valuable commodities while protecting the environment. It reduces landfill waste and carbon dioxide emissions associated with incineration,” he said.
“Our priority is to prevent the entry of these goods into the country, and for this we work closely with the diplomatic missions and brand owners to protect intellectual property rights and investors’ interests.”
In March, authorities recovered almost 16,000 illegal or fake tobacco products and shisha oils worth Dh1.5 million.
Smuggling fake car parts is another hot area for bootleggers. More than 300,000 bogus filters, spark plugs and other engine parts were seized by officials in 2020.
Over the past few years, the UAE has intensified inspection campaigns and is using blockchain technology to prevent fraud and counterfeiting.
The UAE also signed several international treaties for the protection of copyright work, including the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property agreement.