Arrests over fake Clarks shoes
Image © Bryan Cummings - Jamaica Obsever
A major operation by the Jamaican police has shut down an illegal factory in which fake Clarks shoes were manufactured. Nine men arrested during the investigation face a number of charges, including breaches of the Trademark Copyright Act.
According to a police spokesman, hundreds of pairs of counterfeit shoes were seized, along with equipment used to make the footwear. The factory reportedly operated at the location for more than two years and was likely to have produced thousands of the fake shoes for the local market. The facility is said to have not only supplied fake branded shoes to stores in and around Kingston, but also sold directly to the public through a factory outlet.
The police operation led to a protest by some Kingston residents who criticised the authorities for clamping down on what they called the ‘little man’. One bystander remarked that counterfeiting is a multimillion-dollar market and claimed that the police are not prosecuting the bigger players who import fake goods to Jamaica.
The raid was the latest to be carried out under operations ‘Swirl’ and ‘Push Back’, targeting intellectual property crimes that have been earning considerable sums for organised criminal networks.
“Our focus at the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Intellectual Property Vice Squad and, by extension, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, is to ensure that persons realise that intellectual property crimes are not only seen as a soft crime,” said deputy superintendent Carl Berry.
This article was originally published on page 4 of the September 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.