SHARJAH // A total of 40,000 counterfeit items worth millions of dirhams has been confiscated and destroyed in Sharjah so far this year, the state news agency WAM reported. While the number of arrests made as part of the campaign to protect intellectual property was not revealed, such fraud is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to Dh20,000 (US$5,400). Khalid Saif, the director of the emirate's Commercial Control and Protection Department, said: "Sharjah has been playing a vital role in fighting commercial fraud. We have launched over 30 inspection campaigns in the first half of 2009 alone."
He said inspectors had seized and destroyed counterfeit goods including compact discs, films, computers, plastic products, mobile phones and accessories, perfumes, car batteries and men's clothing. "Although some may view fraud as a victimless crime, its effects are more serious and far-reaching than many people realise," he said. "It affects everyone, and it can be particularly detrimental to the local and global economies in a time of economic downturn."
In April, the department announced a campaign named Hemaya, or protection, to make consumers aware of counterfeit products in the UAE market. firstname.lastname@example.org