Vietnamese authorities have cracked a counterfeit appliance retailing business passing off cheap Chinese appliances as branded European goods.
Thanh Nien News reports that a company called Romal Vietnam was selling gas ranges, electric stovetops, ovens and blow dryers inside supermarkets, online and at shopping centres in many provinces and cities across the nation.
A nationwide crackdown has now been launched by teams of inspectors from the National Steering Committee for Combating Smuggling, Commercial Fraud and Counterfeit Goods (also known as Committee 389).
A Romal Vietnam shop in Hanoi was raided on January 22 and 185 Chinese products bearing Italian and German brand names on labels were seized.
Another 85 products were seized in the central seaside town of Danang and Ho Chi Minh City police sealed a Romal store after “the manager locked its doors and fled” according to Thanh Nien News.
The company’s director, Nguyen Thi Ninh, and her husband Nguyen Huy Tho have been summoned by police for questioning. A police source told the newspaper that Ninh, Tho and their employees admitted importing Chinese products from Zhongshan Company in Guangdong since 2008.
Labelling the goods as European allowed the shop to import the products for between $150 and $200 and sell them for as much as $750 to $800. The fraud had netted the business several hundred thousand dollars annually.