Apartment Contains Secret Doors, Passageways and Hidden storage Rooms
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Saturday, November 7th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
The Abu Dhabi Police managed to seize 30,000 counterfeit designer goods hidden in residential apartments, one of which was altered with secret doors, passageways and hidden rooms to store the illegal goods. The culprits were working out of these apartments and running an illegal trade to make illegal profit, thinking they would go unnoticed by the police and the competent supervisory authorities.
According to Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the goods were hidden in three apartments, in one residential building, one of which contained passageways leading to invisible storage rooms, behind wooden shelves, to stash and promote designer counterfeit goods.
Colonel Borshid said: “Three Bangladeshi men were arrested and interrogated in connection with the apartments, which were all raided in a joint operation in coordination with the Department of Economic Development, after the completion of all legal procedures.” He also noted that the three suspects work separately, in legitimate shops in the same where the suspicious apartments are located.
Colonel Borshid said that the seized goods included handbags, wallets, watches, belts, shawls, ties, hats, pens, shoes, sunglasses, perfumes, accessories, jewelry, clothes, medicine, sexual items and supplements. Boxes printed with international brands and fake guarantees were also found in this apartment.
Head of the CID Department at Abu Dhabi Police warned consumers against making such purchases from unsafe sources, pointing to the security risks associated with shopping at undesignated places would mean losing certain consumer rights in case a receipt or guarantee is not provided with the purchased item. Colonel Borshid noted that the UAE has been a pioneer in enacting laws aimed at combating counterfeit goods and other commercial fraud; hence, consumers are requested to comply with these guidelines set forth by the competent authorities, and report immediately any suspicion of commercial fraud.
For his part, Lt. Colonel Taher Al Dhaheri, Chief of Organized Crime Section at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), explained that the seized counterfeit goods have a short lifespan and are sold at cheap prices. The affair falls under commercial fraud, illicit practice of trade without a license and a violation of trade laws, and a violation of the intellectual property rights of the owners of the original brand name.
Lt. Colonel Al Dhaheri added that the three suspects, identified as M.A., 34, M.M., 32, and M.G., 45, were interrogated on suspicion of using the apartments as a hiding place to promote the counterfeit goods, by accompanying potential customers from the legitimate shops where they worked to the apartments. He said: “The suspects have violated of the public safety regulations, which may endanger human lives and material risks due to the poor storage conditions and accumulation of goods in residential areas, which could cause fires and great damage.”
Lt. Colonel Al Dhaheri stressed the ADP’s keenness to cooperate with competent authorities to track down and combat all negative practices, which could affect the business sector’s performance and are in violation of the laws and regulations of business activities. This philosophy embodies the Abu Dhabi Government’s directives to create a competitive fair and legitimate business environment throughout the emirate, and to prevent commercial fraud and violation of people’s rights.
Captain Abdullah Al Mazrouei, Anti-Economic Crimes Branch Manager at the Organized Crime Section at CID, estimated the market value of the seized goods to about Dhs six million. Elaborating on the details of the operation, he said that the investigation was launched following complaints by two of the companies whose goods had been counterfeited, against the suspicious shops, whose activities affect their commercial interests in the region and their reputation.
Captain Al Mazrouei said that a plan has been established in coordination with the Department of Economic Development (Trademark and Commercial Agencies Section), to seize the counterfeit goods bearing the logos of well-known brands. Further investigations revealed the secret hideouts dedicated to promote counterfeit goods and deceive consumers, especially women. In conclusion, he noted that the raid was successfully conducted and led to the discovery of the hidden rooms and secret doors.
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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.
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