Fake items seized from seven city stores

POSTED: 09/6/12 12:43 PM

GREAT BAY / By Milton G. Pieters – Once again, St Maarten has come under the microscope of counterfeiting and piracy and a few businesses will have to count their losses after a raid by bailiffs who removed sacks of clothing and designer ladies hand bags yesterday from stores on Back Street and Front Street.
The last four stores adjacent to each other at the head of Back Street felt the pressure of the unexpected raid but the hardest hit was the management of Everest Nepal Enterprises N.V on Front Street where a quantity of imitation designer brand bags was confiscated.
Among the items confiscated was Fendi, Dockers, Cartier, Diesel and Roxy. This is the second time that Everest Nepal Enterprises was caught. In a similar raid bailiffs carried out in 2011, an assortment of look-a-like designer bags was also confiscated.
The rightful owners of the branded items have an intellectual right to protect items they have spent thousands of dollars to design and manufacture. But while the global trend of counterfeiting is on the rise, when those look a-like items surface and are identified, the rightful authorities remove them from the shelves.
This recent raid came into effect after a letter of complaint by the companies affected was submitted to the judge and the permission was granted to execute the raids.
“This is just the beginning, we have not seen the end of it,” said Karl Arndell, the bailiff heading the early morning operation. In one instance, a pair of sneakers bought by a visitor to the island was later discovered to be a knockoff.
However, any country that is enforcing intellectual property rights legislation has the right to confiscate knockoffs. Consumers also have a right to ask when purchasing items if it’s the real thing of the original in the absence of a standards bureau or a consumer protection agency. They also have a right to ask for a receipt so that they can return that item or items to the store of purchase when they realize they have been fooled.
The confiscated items will be destroyed under close guard.

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