AJMAN // Thousands of fake “Swiss-made” watches with a street value of Dh4.5 million have been seized by police after raids on shops around the emirate.
In total, officers confiscated 18,000 copies of supposedly high-end timepieces that were purportedly from various manufacturers, after being alerted by staff from Al Shaali & Co, a legal consultancy based in Dubai, who spotted the fakes on sale.
“We are the representative of Swiss watches in the UAE and Middle East, and through our experience we can notice if any watch is real or not,” said Malek Khalifeh, director of the Intellectual Property division at the firm.
“We had a meeting with Brigadier Sheikh Sultan Bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ajman Police, and told him about the issue. Then the case was transferred to Al Hamidiya Police Station. The confiscation of 18,000 watches was done the same day and the case has been transferred to the public prosecution.”
It is not know how many people will face charges.
Brigadier Al Nuaimi said the fight against counterfeit products is important to ensure consumers are aware of the negative impact such goods can have and also how to tell the difference between original and fake products.
“Many people think that [selling] fake luxury brands such as bags and wristwatches is not dangerous, but there is legal action taken in these issues,” Mr Khalifeh said. “It is also considered an economic crime that affects the country’s economy.”
Andrea Reichlin, Switzerland’s ambassador to the UAE, thanked Ajman police for their swift action that not only led to the seizure of the fake watches, but also the punishment of traders who deal in counterfeit brands.