FIOD, Police, Customs and National Public Prosecutor’s Office for serious fraud and environmental crime in the Netherlands act jointly against trademark counterfeiting
In the first week of September 2015, under the direction of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office for serious fraud and environmental crime the FIOD, Police and Customs carried out searches and seizures at warehouses and dwellings in various investigations into intellectual property fraud (trademark counterfeiting). These successful actions against the infringers have been leading to more than 100.000 pieces of infringing goods seized.
The suspicions in the investigations were that suspects were selling trademark counterfeit goods such as clothing, perfumes, cigarettes, shoes and other. Quite some sellers have been identified in advance through enquiries Interro Investigations has been performing on behalf of her clients.
This week, more than 50 warehouses which contained trademark counterfeit goods, and 6 dwellings were searched throughout the Netherlands. Over 100,000 pieces of clothing, perfumes, watches, shoes, bags and 4,200 loose brand emblems were seized during the searches.
In addition, during the searches was also found; 8.5 kg of cannabis and equipment for a cannabis farm, explosives, heavy fireworks, counterfeit money, stolen goods, water pipe tobacco (1,360 kilos) and (dummy)weapons.
Also thousands of (counterfeit) cigarettes were seized. No excise duty was paid for these cigarettes. Furthermore, a number of counterfeit racing bike rims were seized.
The goods represent an estimated value of well over 4 million euros.
On Saturday, one of the coordinated actions this week took place at the Beverwijkse Bazaar, where investigations were conducted into the products offered at this bazaar. It was established that several suppliers offered counterfeit clothing, bags, perfumes and shoes.
Arrests and seizure
In the course of the week 15 suspects were arrested. By now 11 suspects have been released with summons, penalties (money fines) or community punishments. It cannot be ruled out that more arrests and searches will follow.
Also immovable properties were seized, over €55,000 of cash money, cars and a number of bank accounts of suspects were seized.
Copyrights on design chairs
This week a settlement was made for copyright infringement regarding design bucket seats. The FIOD, in cooperation with Customs, seized these chairs after they received a tip-off.
In the course of the week some cases were dealt with in court sessions. On 21 September 2015 the pretrial hearing took place in Almelo concerning a trademark counterfeiting case and counterfeit strip stamps case, at which a large number of counterfeit caps of a well-known vodka brand were seized. On Friday 25 September the substance of a counterfeit case concerning electronics accessories will be dealt with in Zutphen.
The seized counterfeit products as well as the design bucket seats seized earlier were immediately destroyed. When destructed maximum recycling levels are used so that raw materials can be used again. Also immovable properties were seized, over €55,000 of cash money, cars and a number of bank accounts of suspects were seized (dubbel??).
Invitations to warehouse storers from the National Public Prosecution’s Office for serious fraud and environmental crime
It emerged from a large number of criminal investigations that suspects make use of Self storage companies for storage, distribution and sale of counterfeit goods. The Self storage companies involved in this fraud will receive an invitation from the National Public Prosecution’s Office for serious fraud and environmental crime. In this meeting with Self storage companies, among other things, their role in the trade of counterfeit products will be discussed. Their role will be monitored closely and they will receive further information how they can help to prevent this kind of crime in future.