x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Swoop on beggars and vendors nets fake items

Municipal inspectors working with the police and immigration officials arrest 201 illegal street vendors and beggars in June.

DUBAI // Municipal inspectors working with the police and immigration officials arrested 201 illegal street vendors and beggars last month, seizing thousands of counterfeit items in the process. The arrests were made during daily sweeps of a number of areas in Dubai. Of those arrested, 131 were selling items on the streets, 28 were begging, 28 were washing cars without a licence and 14 were "illegal butchers and fish cleaners", according to a statement released by the municipality yesterday.

The confiscated goods included 2,474 copies of brand-name items, including clothes, handbags, perfume, cameras and watches. Also seized were a total of 2,435 pirated DVDs, including a number of pornographic films, and more than 200 food items, including several boxes of fruit and vegetables. The municipality said the people who had been arrested were of various nationalities and would be handed over to the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department for deportation, while the confiscated goods would be held for the duration of any legal action and then destroyed.

Last week Dubai Customs and the Brand Owners Protection Group, which represents a number of well-known companies in tackling counterfeiting in the region, signed an agreement with counterparts from China and Japan aimed at improving international co-operation against the trade. gmcclenaghan@thenational.ae