x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai Police seize Dh6m in counterfeit metal detectors from raid

The operation confiscated fake parts for Minelab GPX Series hand-held detectors, which are designed to find gold and retail at more than Dh20,000 each.

Counterfeit metal detectors worth almost Dh6 million have been seized in a police raid.

The operation confiscated fake parts for Minelab GPX Series hand-held detectors, which are designed to find gold and retail at more than Dh20,000 each.

Police were tipped off about the fakes factory, being run from an apartment in Dubai, by staff from Minelab, who monitor the trade of fake goods bearing the company's name by liaising with employees, customers and industry figures.

"This raid has come about following an intense period of investigation," said Peter Charlesworth, Minelab's general manager.

"Minelab has had to develop innovative strategies against counterfeit manufacturers based in China that sell direct to our developing markets and through major hubs such as Dubai.

"We are committed to our strategies and this significant result in Dubai reflects our intent."

The raid was part of the company's "Stop Counterfeits" campaign.

The fake detectors were assembled and packed at the apartment before being sold on the open market.

"Thanks to Dubai Police this is the greatest success we have had in our campaign against counterfeits," said Sheila Kelleher, general manager of Minelab, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"We have had previous success in battling counterfeiting in Dubai with the help of the police and the Economic Department, but this is by far the highest value of counterfeit parts seized."

She added that removing fake products from the market was essential, as although the counterfeit gold detectors do not function as well as Minelab's genuine devices.

"Miners across Africa rely on the quality of original products to successfully recover gold." Ms Kelleher said the company's efforts to combat the market for counterfeit goods in Dubai was likely to be ongoing, as the emirate was at the gateway to Africa, which has the largest reserves of gold in the world.

"Dubai is a great trading post, and the place you naturally gravitate to if you want to develop connections. As a lot of gold is traded through Dubai the counterfeiters are being drawn to the city. They just follow us there."

A number of people were arrested in the raid and have been referred to prosecutors.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae

cmalek@thenational.ae