Law enforcement agencies shatter fake Swarovski cartel
The Russian law enforcement agencies have raided a chandelier plant, terminating the production of counterfeit Swarovski products. The plant was being run by an underground cartel that employed about 40 workers who made chandeliers with poor-quality metal and Turkish crystals, and then branded them with the famous SWAROVSKI trademark. The law enforcement agencies had been investigating the sale of the counterfeit products in some of Moscow's principal shopping malls for over a year.
Police reports indicate that the trademark infringers netted profits in the region of $1.1 million and that the amount of damage done to the SWAROVSKI mark and reputation is at least several hundred thousand dollars.
Those involved in the cartel have been apprehended and will be charged with criminal as well as civil offences. Each is expected to be given a prison sentence of up to five years. It is also expected that the counterfeit products will be destroyed or handed over to the Austria-based trademark owner as provided by the recently amended Trademark Law (see Trademark Law amended to prevent piracy).
Valery N Medvedev, Gorodissky & Partners, Moscow
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