Three arrested in counterfeit computer equipment operation

April 7th 2015

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have dismantled a criminal operation suspected of importing, exporting and selling counterfeit CISCO networking products.

Two men, aged 36 and 35, were arrested by the City of London Police unit at their homes in Hertfordshire and a third, 38, at his place of work also in Hertfordshire last Wednesday, on suspicion of running a counterfeit business that has sold in excess of $10 million worth of counterfeit CISCO equipment.

The group are believed to be importing, exporting and selling counterfeit CISCO networking products through a company website and telesales.

Between December 2012 and April this year 40 shipments of suspected counterfeit CISCO products believed to be sent from the suspects’ business in the UK to the US, were intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection.

PIPCU has been working collaboratively with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CISCO’s Global Brand Protection Team as part of this ongoing investigation.

The suspects’ homes and the business address were searched and counterfeit CISCO networking equipment with an estimated value of more than $1 million was seized. 

PIPCU's Detective Inspector Mick Dodge said “Last week’s action saw PIPCU dismantle a criminal gang suspected of cheating the computer industry out of millions of pounds. CISCO products are used by organisations worldwide to underpin their IT infrastructures. Businesses need to have confidence in their supply chains and be aware of the risks that counterfeit products can have on their networks; potentially compromising integrity and functionality including significant network outages.”

PIPCU is a specialist national police unit dedicated to protecting UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online digital content from intellectual property crime. The operationally independent unit was launched in April 2013 with funding from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The unit is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, the National Policing Lead for Fraud.

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