17,000 fake watches seized in Dubai home

The workshop was the result of a clampdown by Swiss watchmakers

(Picture for illustration purpose only)

(Picture for illustration purpose only)

Nearly 17,000 fake watches were seized as part of a raid on an apartment in Dubai, following an investigation by a trade association representing Swiss watch manufacturers.

In a bid to crack down on the supply of fake watches into Europe, the Bern-based Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FSWI) sent investigators to Dubai to track down those involved in the manufacturing of counterfeit timepieces.

“New investigators were put on the case, using more direct and invasive methods,” the FSWI said. “In just a few weeks, our men discovered an assembly workshop run by Chinese nationals, concealed in a private apartment. The police raid seized nearly 17,000 fake Swiss watches... a major breakthrough,” it added.

Owners of designer clothing stores, gaming distributors and music shops in Dubai have for a long time called for better regulation to tackle the ongoing issue of piracy and counterfeit products in the emirate.

Companies say their revenues are taking a hit where imports of counterfeit goods go undetected, dropping anywhere between 20 and 60 percent due to lower sales.

“Piracy and counterfeit products for DVDs and music is a big issue in the UAE as it negatively impacts sales for retailers,” said Varto Basmajian, music and video regional product manager at Virgin Megastore.

“Whilst this region has rules against counterfeit goods and piracy, these restrictions are not being reinforced at the level of severity that is needed in order to make a difference and bring the consumer back to the shop.

“It is difficult to measure the exact revenue loss, but we estimate it to be approximately 20-30 percent in our industry.”

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the music industry worldwide and has closed 300,000 illegal websites, is also missing in the Middle East, he said.

According to Dubai Customs data, authorities detected as many as 689 cases of intellectual property infringement in 2010, with the majority of smugglers using the airport to bring in counterfeit goods.

Shipments included anything from CDs, DVDs, shoes, clothes, telephones, baggage and watches, to construction equipment, car parts and food supplements.

In Dubai, stalls selling counterfeit designer clothes and accessories are rife in places such as Karama and the Bur Dubai.

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Posted by: Gdawg

Dam YOU! Love me a good 1:1 rep!

Posted by: Louie Tedesco

The issue of fake products is not an issue of who is faking what, but rather a matter of what is right and what is wrong.

China and other countries have some of the best skilled workmen in the world. Coach handbags are made in China and this is not a company secret. Let each countries craftsmen create what they are good at. Don?t make them stoop to copying others.

Support the craftsmen and artists of your country by buying REAL items, do not support those who live by copying the creativity of others.

Posted by: Geko

If dumping a Vietnam warehouse workshop quality material @ US mega factory rate under the same brand name is RIGHT, then selling a fake product @ fake product rate is NOBLE. After all every so called new design was once copied from someone else R&D.

Posted by: Faked by OEM

Is a Brand value a combination of goods and service pledged? Their manufacturing units are moved to third world countries (forget about child labour issue on shoes and clothes), while still holding premium value as US brand, not as ChineGMC or VietHP or Jag/RangeIndia or TaiSony.

When you pickup a call to enjoy their customer service and ends up in China or India where a half informed call centre drags you to no man's land. But they never reduced the price to fake this goods and service level.

When a corporate selects china under same brand name, it is a cost cut, why not when a customer select the same china for the product of his like? I wouldnt be surprised if someone says this Genuine produced in the same factory or same employee as my fake. Everything possible in China.

Posted by: Expat123

OEM, your comment doesnt make sense and its irrelevant. The point is that companies spend a lot of money developing, marketing, etc. products for the sole purpose of making money, when the Chinese make counterfeits it cuts into the revenues these companies are legally and logically entitled to. If the product is too expensive, dont buy it, buy something cheaper. Stealing someone elses ideas and brand is illegal for a reason.

Posted by: Hisham

Completely untrue that they lose revenue. 99.9% of people who can afford the real do no buy the fakes. They want to buy the real thing because the point of it is that it represents success to them. On the other hand, 99.9% of people who buy the fakes, cannot afford the real items. So if there are no fakes, they will buy something in their price-range, which is usually not a AP or Patek. So this means that losses for the companies that make the originals are not even close to these percentages mentioned.

Posted by: Telcoguy

the losses are not coming from substitution but from the damage on the brand. luxury items sell because of exclusivity, when cheap knock-offs can be seen everywhere the brand losses appeal, that is much harder to quantify and that is why companies put the losses in terms of lost revenue.
Not that this matters to you probably. I wonder if you will be as forgiving when it his your wealth and assets involved as when they are the ones from other people.

Posted by: ahmed

Go to Deira Gold Souq and you will find millions more...where is the need for 'sophisticated techniques'??

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