In Austria, customs officials seize 1.5 tons of counterfeit roller bearings. Chinese investigators crack down on fake audio equipment. And in Germany, customs bust fraudsters at a sanitation trade fair, while a couple has to stand trial for counterfeiting perfumes.

Tons of counterfeit roller bearings seized in Austria
Austrian customs took more than 100 counterfeit roller bearings weighing a total of 1.5 tons out of circulation. A Turkish logistics provider had transported the fakes to Lustenau, near the Swiss border, for customs declaration; there, they were seized by officials. The investigators became suspicious because of the products’ poor packaging and the unusual route of transportation via Turkey. Moreover, according to media reports, the price of the fake goods had only been given at approx. 10,000 euros – the genuine products cost about fifteen times as much. In identifying the roller bearings as counterfeits, the Austrian authorities were aided by brand protection experts of the manufacturer SKF.

Chinese officials bust factory for counterfeit audio equipment
During a factory raid in the province of Guangdong in South China, investigators found hundreds of counterfeit audio products. As it was recently reported, Chinese authorities had seized numerous wireless microphones, consoles, receivers, and amplifiers as well as audio processors back in October last year. According to media reports, the fakes were infringing on the trademarks of well-known manufacturers such as Shure, Sennheiser, Yamaha, and Harman; the trademark owners now have reportedly taken legal action. The factory had apparently already been known to local authorities due to prior counterfeiting offences.

German customs crack down on fakes at sanitation fair ISH
Customs officials in Germany confiscated a total of 761 suspected counterfeits and collected 49,000 euros in security payments during the international trade fair for sanitation, heating and air-conditioning ISH in Frankfurt. “We have particularly seized counterfeit high-quality fixtures and pumps as well as product catalogs. This is the only way for us to prevent the products from being ordered at the trade fair,” explained Olaf Scheffler, spokesperson for the main customs office in Darmstadt. While most of the fakes originated in China, some also came from other countries such as Turkey. Meanwhile, 25 criminal investigations are under way against alleged perpetrators.

Couple counterfeiting perfumes sentenced in Frankfurt
For violating trademark law, a tradesman has now been sentenced to a suspended sentence of one year and five months by the district court of Frankfurt. The defendant’s fiancée was also convicted and now has to pay a fine of 2,250 euros for aiding and abetting. The couple reportedly attempted to sell fake perfumes on Facebook on a large scale. However, the scam was discovered before the fakes could reach customers.

Sources: Kurier, meinbezirk.at; Pro Sound News, Securing Industry; zoll.de; Frankfurter Rundschau