Mumbai

Fake watches worth ₹1.5 crore seized from Kalbadevi shops

Huge haul: Crime Branch officers with the watches seized on Thursday.

Huge haul: Crime Branch officers with the watches seized on Thursday.  

Crackdown on counterfeit timepieces continues, two more arrested

The Mumbai Crime Branch’s action against counterfeit branded wristwatches continues, with the Unit IV seizing counterfeit watches worth ₹1.5 crore from two wholesalers based in Kalbadevi. Investigating officers said the duo had obtained a larger than usual stock of counterfeit watches in light of the increased demand for the upcoming festive season.

According to officers, the racket was busted after police inspector Ninad Sawant, in-charge of the Unit IV, received a tip-off about a major counterfeit wristwatch racket being run out of Sutar Chawl in Kalbadevi. Officers obtained a few samples of the watches and checked with representatives of the brands, who confirmed that they were fakes.

“We conducted simultaneous raids at two shops in Sutar Chawl, one on the first floor and the other on the second and seized 1,805 watches worth ₹32.37 lakh from the first shop and 6,693 watches worth ₹1.07 crore from the second,” an officer said.

The officer said the watches bore logos of brands like Tissot, Hoblot, Mont Blanc, Omega, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dior and Cartier, some of which sell for lakhs of rupees a piece in the market. The accused, however, were selling each watch for a couple of thousand rupees each. The two shop owners, identified as Hitesh Gada (38) and Kunjan Gada (31), were arrested and charged with cheating under the Indian Penal Code along with sections of the Copyright Act.

“Inquiries so far have indicated that the duo is only one link in a larger supply chain. They would obtain wristwatches in bulk from a city-based supplier and sell them on a wholesale basis to other retailers, not only in Mumbai but all over the country. We are exploring all the forward and backward links and more arrests are expected in the days to come,” the officer said.

According to sources, the duo had obtained a larger quantity than usual, anticipating a higher demand during the Deepavali festival, as wristwatches are gifts of choice during the festival.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:08:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/fake-watches-worth-15-crore-seized-from-kalbadevi-shops/article29729449.ece

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