Volvo Cars gets damages for counterfeit car parts sold online; in Germany and the UK, seizures worth millions were made. Also, tens of thousands of counterfeiting domains were shut down and underground factories for counterfeit adhesives closed.

Volvo Cars wins lawsuit against hundreds of counterfeiters
A US court recently imposed damages amounting up to two million US dollars (around 1.8 million euros) on 148 Chinese dealers, which had allegedly traded online in counterfeit car parts of Volvo and other brands. The Swedish car manufacturer, part of China-based Geely Holding Group, also settled with 28 further sellers on an undisclosed amount of compensations. According to court documents, the dealers had sold counterfeit and inferior car parts via markets such as eBay and Amazon; payment was handled via PayPal. The illegal offers are said to have attracted tens of millions of visitors annually, who in turn may have spent billions of dollars on illegal car parts, Volvo said. The court ordered PayPal to transfer any funds in the fraudsters’ accounts to Volvo.

Customs in Frankfurt, Hamburg intercept tens of thousands of counterfeits
More than 25,000 illegal products were seized by customs officials at Frankfurt Airport end of 2019, while customs in Hamburg intercepted more than 125 kilograms of alleged counterfeit clothing. The goods seized in the two cases comprised fakes of various luxury brands as well as imitations that copied the design of the original items without using their trademark. The goods seized in Frankfurt alone are estimated to be worth more than 240,000 euros.

UK authorities report seizures worth millions
More than 10,000 counterfeits worth a total of almost three million pounds (approx. 3.5 million euros) were seized by British customs in November and December 2019. The products originated in China and included counterfeit designer goods, sportswear, cosmetics, and electronics, including brands such as Burberry, Chanel, Dr Dre Beats, Gucci, and Nike. “These seizures show how effective Border Force officers are in cracking down on criminality across our ports, airports and mail hubs to keep fake, counterfeit goods out of the country”, states UK Security Minister Brandon Lewis.

Europol coordinates operation against tens of thousands of piracy domains
Law enforcement authorities in multiple countries have shut down more than 30,000 Internet domains said to sell counterfeit medicines, fake electronics, and pirated digital content. During accompanying raids, three suspects were arrested and 26,000 luxury goods, 363 liters of alcoholic beverages, and a large number of hardware devices seized. The operation called IOS X was part of the global initiative In Our Sites (IOS), which was launched in 2014 and aims to increase consumer safety on the Internet. The operation was a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies from 18 EU member states and several further countries1, Europol, the US IPR Center, Eurojust, and Interpol.

1 Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Moldova, Romania , Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Chinese authorities crack down on counterfeiting ring for adhesives
Chinese police have closed several illegal factories for counterfeit adhesives and seized more than 470,000 fake products and labels worth 50 million yuan (about 6.5 million euros). The action, which took place in the Shanghai area in December, focused on counterfeits of the German brand Loctite, which belongs to the Henkel Group. In total, the police shut down five manufacturing sites and warehouses and arrested 103 suspects with links to the criminal network that is said to have distributed the fakes since 2018. According to official information, one of the counterfeiters’ leading figures is said to have previously worked in quality control at Loctite.

Sources: The Post and Courier; Hauptzollamt Frankfurt am Main, Hauptzollamt Hamburg; UK Home Office / Border Force; Europol; Xinhuanet