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Dubai: As many as 29,187 replicas of Rolex, Gucci and Cartier watches, worth Dh1.2 billion, were seized by Dubai Police after arresting an Asian gang pedalling the watches, an official said on Tuesday.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department, said the two Asian men were arrested within 60 minutes of receiving the tip off in January 2020.

“They had hidden the watches in a flat in the Naif area. Thousands of fake watches carrying logos of famous brands were stored in the flat in order to sell them to shops and individuals. They were worth Dh1.2 billion,” Brig Al jallaf said at a press conference at the Dubai Police headquarters in Al Qusais.

He said Dubai Police got a call at 11am on January 2 this year, saying that a gang had stashed fake watches in Naif. Within 60 minutes of receiving the tip, police raided the flat and arrested two Asian men who had a criminal record in selling fake items.

“It took only one hour to identify the place and arrest the gang whose operations were hurting famous brands,” Brig Al Jallaf added.

The two Asian men were transferred to Dubai Public Prosecution for further investigation.

According to law, they are likely to face jail and a fine ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh50,000.

Colonel Salah Bu Osaiba, Director of the Anti-Economic Crimes Department at Dubai Police, said police does its best to ensure the local market is free from counterfeit goods, including fake watches.

“Police saved many people from buying the fake watches. Usually, watches worth Dh100,000 sell for Dh20,000 or more in the counterfeit market. Police protect the market and brand owners,” Col Bu Osaiba said.

According to Dubai Police, 2,402 cases of fake items, worth Dh6.8 billion, were seized between 2015 to 2019.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Seddiqi, Chief Commercial Officer at Seddiqi Holding, praised the role of Dubai Police and Dubai Economic Development Department in protecting brands by seizing fake products.

“Buyers should always go to credible shops in the country to buy watches. We at Seddiqi conduct workshops for the public to raise awareness about expensive watches and how to recognise fake products,” Seddiqi said.

The public can report fake products by calling 901.