Dh15m in fake car parts seized at Al Ain warehouse
ABU DHABI // Thousands of fake car parts worth Dh15 million were seized in a raid on a warehouse in Al Ain.
The haul, the largest of its kind by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, was the culmination of an eight-month investigation into a major distributor of spare parts.
It is alleged that the Syrian had been selling counterfeit products for the past six years. He recently began importing them through Khor Fakkan, on the east coast, before they were moved to the warehouse in Al Ain before being distributed to vehicle traders.
Department inspectors found 21 lorries loaded with fake parts for BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Range Rover vehicles as well as other makes in the raid last Thursday. About half the parts seized were for Toyotas.
“Car parts are used by almost everyone and we intensified our efforts to seize counterfeit parts for the safety of the public,” said Ahmed Al Qubaisi , the department’s commercial protection director.
“Through the efforts of our team, we tracked down and seized this large number of counterfeit parts which we discovered were being sold by one of the main auto parts distributers in the market,” he said.
Mr Al Qubaisi declined to name the distributor but said the fakes were now being withdrawn from companies that had bought them.
Mohamed Munif Al Mansouri, acting executive director of the department’s Abu Dhabi Business Centre, said the seizure, at one of the biggest warehouses in Al Ain, came after extensive work by inspectors in coordination with car makers.
“The warehouse will face closure, per the law, while the confiscated items will be destroyed,” he said.
Advocate Hatem Abdelghani, partner and director of the IP department at The Legal Group, said investigations began when documents were found at warehouses the distributor had sold fakes to.
“Now they are taking legal action against all retailers and shops who have been sourcing counterfeit items from him.”
He estimated that about 30 shops in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi had purchased fakes.
Mr Al Qubaisi said the penalties for selling counterfeit products, which range from fines, prison and the closure of a company, would be imposed on distributors and sellers.
The seizure was the largest in Abu Dhabi, Mr Abdelghani said.
“Abu Dhabi is largely consumer and retailer based, not an importer such as Dubai and Sharjah, so to find such a large importer based in Abu Dhabi was unusual.”
Mr Al Qubaisi urged consumers not to go after low prices when seeking car parks and instead to go directly to certified dealers.
Vehicle owners should be careful when buying spare parts and report any cases where fakes were being sold to safeguard their own safety, Mr Al Mansouri said.
Updated: January 10, 2017 04:00 AM