Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the alleged production of counterfeit luxury goods, Taichung police said yesterday, adding that they raided a warehouse in Taichung’s Beitun District (北屯) and found 1,400 counterfeit items, including handbags and clothing.
A man surnamed Tsai (蔡), 25, is thought to be the owner-operator of the company and his two business partners were school friends, police said.
The company allegedly sold fake luxury goods online.
Photo: Hsu Kuo-chen
The confiscated items have an estimated value of NT$10 million (US$337,826), and the business generated revenue of about NT$2 million each month, Second Special Police Corps criminal investigation unit Captain Lin Chi-ming (林志明) said.
The counterfeited goods included clothing, shoes and backpacks that copied popular Chanel, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Kenzo, Nike, Adidas and other well-known brands’ designs, Lin said.
Tsai and the other suspects are to be tried on fraud charges and breaches of the Trademark Act (商標法), Lin said.
“Tsai in 2016 contacted Chinese factories, which helped him produce counterfeits of famous international brands, which he imported to Taiwan through his company,” Lin said. “Sales were conducted online through five Web sites, including Yahoo, Shopee, Facebook and other online shopping platforms.”
Tsai found customers by presenting himself and his business partners as Taiwanese students enrolled at overseas universities, who could source genuine brand-name goods in foreign countries, police said.
“Tsai listed the items at discounts of between 20 percent and 50 percent on [original] retail prices, claiming he had access to brand-name companies’ outlet distributors, factory-direct goods with only slight damage, or engaging in ‘parallel imports’ of the genuine product lines,” Lin said.
Investigators gave an example of an expensive brand name totebag with a retail price of NT$52,000, which Tsai sold for about NT$10,000.
The bag was made for about NT$5,000 in China, police said.
Police late last year began receiving complaints from buyers who realized they had bought fake brand name items after sending their purchase to original manufacturers for examination.
Surveillance of Tsai’s business began last year, Lin said.
An examination of the confiscated items proved none were genuine brand-name goods, while import and transaction records found at the warehouse indicate that the items were procured from factories in China, police said.
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