Ebrahim Behzad fake watches
Ebrahim Behzad displays a batch of fake luxury watches confiscated in 2017. Shoes, bags, cosmetics, smartphones and accessories were the most common fake products seized. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection, CCCP, sector in the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, DED, shut down 13,948 social media accounts in 2018 in a bid to protect trademarks and integrity of e-commerce in Dubai.

The accounts were found to be selling counterfeit goods. Together, the accounts had 77.9 million followers.

An overwhelming majority of the accounts closed down were on Instagram — 13,529, followed by 419 on Facebook.

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Instagram accounts shut down in Dubai for selling fake items

Round-the-clock surveillance and continued cooperation with trademark owners as well as law firms also helped DED identify 45 websites selling counterfeit goods.

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Ebrahim Behzad displays a batch of fake luxury watches confiscated in 2017. Shoes, bags, cosmetics, smartphones and accessories were the most common fake products seized. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Ebrahim Behzad, Director of Intellectual Property Rights Protection in CCCP, said: “The Department of Economic Development is monitoring social media and websites as they are an increasingly popular channel for the movement and supply of goods nowadays. Naturally, some traders have taken to such platforms for peddling in counterfeit goods. We have strengthened our monitoring of the e-commerce market, social media and all digital channels to maintain and reinforce Dubai’s leading edge in trade and overall economic activity, particularly in the retail sector.”

419

Facebook accounts shut down in Dubai for selling fake items

Behzad said the electronic surveillance team of CCCP has been able to track counterfeit goods of more than 48 international brands, which primarily included bags, watches and phone accessories, in addition to perfumes, cosmetics, and clothing.

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Ibrahim Behzad, Director of Intellectual Property Rights Management at DED Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

“The Department of Economic Development does not tolerate any kind of commercial fraud and we enforce the laws and regulations applicable against such practices, including imposing fines,” said Behzad. Consumers should stay away from outlets and channels that offer counterfeit goods as such practices are detrimental to the rights of trademark owners as well as consumer health, he added.

Behzad also urged consumers to report any negative practices that come to their notice on the toll free number 600 54 5555, or on the @dubai_consumers account of CCCP on Instagram and Twitter.