You’re nicked! Three members of a gang importing and selling counterfeit Cisco products have been arrested
British police have dismantled a criminal operation and arrested three people in connection with the selling of counterfeit computer equipment worth £6.6m.
The operation took place last week by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and it targeted a criminal operation suspected of importing, exporting and selling counterfeit Cisco networking products.
Another man, aged 38, was arrested at his place of work in Bishops Stortford on Wednesday 29th April). All three were charged with suspicion of running a counterfeit business that has sold in excess of $10 million (£6.6m) worth of counterfeit Cisco equipment.
The police said the group were believed to be importing, exporting and selling counterfeit Cisco networking products through a company website and telesales operation.
According to the Police, between December 2012 and April this year 40 shipments of suspected counterfeit Cisco products were allegedly sent from the suspects’ business in the UK to the United States. These shipments were apparently intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection, and the British PIPCU apparently worked closely with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Cisco’s Global Brand Protection Team.
The police said that they had seized Cisco equipment worth more than $1m (£660,000) when they searched the suspects homes, as well as a businesses address in Bishops Stortford.
“Last week’s action saw PIPCU dismantle a criminal gang suspected of cheating the computer industry out of millions of pounds,” said Detective Inspector Mick Dodge, of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.
“Cisco products are used by organisations worldwide to underpin their IT infrastructures,” he added. “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 police unit that was launched back in September 2013 to protect intellectual property and combat the distribution of counterfeit physical and virtual goods.
Since then it has been busy making arrests, closing websites and trying to stop the sale of counterfeit goods.
Last August for example, PIPCU arrested a man who was believed to be running proxy servers for 36 websites subject to legal blocking orders, such as The Pirate Bay.
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