DUBAI // Officers raided 38 flats, mostly around Deira's Gold Souq, and arrested 29 people allegedly selling fake sunglasses and watches, among other products, since the middle of last year. The announcement by Dubai Economic Department (DED) was intended to highlight its campaign to stamp out the sale of counterfeit goods. The department valued the confiscated goods, which also included mobile phones, clothes and shoes, at about Dh1 million (US$272,400), and said the problem had become especially endemic around the souq, which is popular with tourists.
It launched the clamp down, it said, after growing complaints from the public. "This practice has developed into a trend in the Gold Souq of Deira, which is a main tourist attraction and the target group of these people are mainly tourists," said Omar Bushahab, the DED's chief officer of commercial compliance and consumer protection. "It is important to limit this phenomenon to protect copyrights and to protect consumers."
He said the most recent raid on a flat was two weeks ago, and resulted in two arrests. "People who are involved in these trade are the new model of streets vendors," Mr Bushahab said. "Initially, streets vendors used to carry around their products and that made them more noticeable and limited their movement, but now they have developed new ways where they store their products in apartments and take the customers to them instead."
The raids were carried in conjunction with the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department. @Email: firstname.lastname@example.org