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The Mumbai Police has busted a major racket of some shops allegedly indulging in sale of fake watches of top international brands and seized such timepieces valued at Rs 1.06 crore, officials said here on Thursday.

Five persons have been arrested in connection with the mega-scam which is being probed further.

Following a tip-off received by the police, the Economic Offences Wing and the MRA Marg Police started their discreet investigations at the famed Manish Market and Al Saba Market in south Mumbai which are reputed for the sale of premium imported goods.

The sleuths found that many of the shopkeepers in the two prime markets were allegedly passing off counterfeit watches of various premium brands to gullible customers at exorbitant rates.

Accordingly, raids were carried out by the police teams on Wednesday at Manish Market shops No. 1, 8 and 40A, and Al Saba Market shops No. 127, 133 and 134 from where the shopkeepers were caught red-handed with the fake watches in their possession.

Some of the highly-ranked brands figuring on the fake watches include Armani, Diesel, Fossil, G-Shock and Michael Kors among others, said the officials.

Based on a complaint lodged by Anup Kolap, representing a company specialising in IP rights, the EOW has registered cases against the arrested shopkeepers under the Copyright & Trademark Act, 1957, and further probe is on.

The entire operation was carried out under guidance by Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, and other top officers including Pravin Padwal, Mahendra Pandit and others from various departments of Mumbai Police and the MRA Marg Police Station.

Officials said that they will enquire if the tentacles of the scam are spread to other places in Mumbai and premium outlets in malls or shopping plazas retailing imported personal timepieces of leading international brands. – IANS

Syndicated from the weekend leader

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