Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police have confiscated 27kg of counterfeit gold jewellery items of famous brands from 26 jewellery showrooms in the capital.
The jewellery pieces were inscribed with the fake trademarks of international brands, the police said on Tuesday.
The showrooms involved in the commercial fraud included 11 outlets owned by one person. The police did not reveal the names of the outlets involved.
Brigadier-General Dr Rashid Mohammad Bu Rashid, director of the Criminal Investigation Directorate, said, “We confiscated these jewellery pieces during inspection raids. Some jewellery outlets had hidden gold in secret closets and behind wooden shelves, and were promoting goods with fake trademarks of reputed international brands.”
Most of the confiscated jewellery items were of 18 carat and the current value of them was Dh4.3 million.
Local traders in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, told Gulf News that the practice of laser inscribing on bracelets and bangles has been going on for many years in the market and some traders were flouting trade rules of the country.
Tushar Patni, owner of Ajanta Jewellers on Hamdan Street in Abu Dhabi, said, “If you buy a genuine Cartier bracelet from its showroom, it would cost you about Dh45,000, but if you buy a similar copy of it with the brand name inscribed on it from somewhere else, it would cost around Dh11,500.”
Prestigious brands like Bvlgari, Cartier, Gucci and Montblanc have their jewellery range but unfortunately some jewellers copy the products in their shops, he said.
Gold traders generally use laser inscriptions to counterfeit trademarks of international brands.
“They use CNC machines which can copy the same artistic design from the original,” Patni said.
“Such outlets don’t keep original brands and sell fake jewellery items. They tell the customers about the inscriptions because of the lower cost as compared to genuine ones,” he said.
As per the trade rules of the country, this is an illegal practice. “These are signature jewellery pieces and outlets other than the authorised showrooms are not supposed to sell them,” Patni said.
In fact, gold traders were warned by the police four months ago to remove the fake items from the shelves or face a fine of Dh50,000, he said.
Patni said, “This practice has been going on in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a long time.”
The police received a complaint from the commercial agent of a reputed international brand recently about the fraudulent practice. The police formed a team and raided the suspected outlets.
The owners seek to imitate trademarks because they believed they would earn large amounts of money illegally and could remain out of police reach, the police said.
The confiscated items have been sent to the Public Prosecution for further legal action.
The police urged consumers to make sure they are buying international brands from authorised stores and report any commercial fraud.