Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Silk company under investigation, fake electrical products in Ghana, mislabelled dietary supplements, manufacturers displaced by fakes, and QR code investment

Silk company under investigation

Vietnamese silk brand Khaisilk Group is under investigation after complaints the high-end brand was selling fake China-made products under the label ‘Made in Vietnam’, reports A raid of the brand’s shop in Ha Noi resulted in the seizure of suspected counterfeit products worth VND30 million ($1,320). The probe came about after a business bought 60 Khaisilk-branded scarves only to find that one scarf had two tags: one saying “Khaisilk Made in Vietnam” and the other tag saying “Made in China”. The business said they found signs that “Made in China” tags had been removed from the other scarves. Khaisilk’s owner Hoang Khai has admitted importing some silk from China but labelling the products as Made in Vietnam.

Ghana launches “national crusade” against fake electricals

Ghana’s Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) has said the country is becoming a “fertile market for counterfeit electrical products” and launched a “national crusade” to fight the proliferation of fakes, Modern Ghana reports. CDA Consult’s executive director Francis Ameyibor said fake electrical products had been a major contributor to a number of recent fires in the country. A public education campaign highlighting the dangers will start in December and will include collaborations with several institutions to improve identification of counterfeits and ensure stricter measures against counterfeiters.

Five charged with supplement mislabelling

Five Chinese citizens in the US have been charged with fraud in relation to a scheme allegedly adulterating dietary supplements with hidden synthetic stimulants including the dangerous chemicals 2-amino-6-methylheptane (DMHA) and 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA). In a statement from the US Justice Department, the defendants allegedly agreed with a confidential government informant during an undercover investigation to mislabel the ingredients and hide the true nature of the supplement from retailers. It is believed the supplements were not sold to consumers. The defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.

Nigerian manufacturers out of business by fakes

The Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) has claimed counterfeit and smuggled substandard products are putting local operators out of business. According to the trade body, smuggled and fake goods have displaced brands in most domestic markets in Nigeria, impacting revenue for the Nigerian government, impeding investment flow into the country and placing undue pressure on the local currency, as well as deepening unemployment and aggravating poverty, ultimately destroying the national economy. It called for additional resources and power for security agencies, and additional support for Nigerian manufacturers.

QR code tech secures investment

Anti-counterfeiting firm Original4Sure has secured $400,000 in funding from a number of investors, according to India’s The Economic Times. The funds will be used for tech and business development, including the firm’s encrypted serialisation technology that allows consumers to scan a product’s QR code using a mobile phone to verify authenticity. Original4Sure already has PepsiCo, Nova Dairy Products and Panasonic as clients.

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