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15,000 bogus electronic devices worth €300k seized by gardaí in Dublin raid

Gardai sezied €300k worth of goods destined for the Christmas market

Gardai sezied €300k worth of goods destined for the Christmas market

Robin Schiller and Eoghan Moloney

Gardaí have seized around €300,000 worth of bogus electronic devices after raiding a business in the capital.

The raid on a business premises in a business park in Oak Close, Dublin 12, is believed to be the largest seizure of counterfeit property masquerading as a particular brand worldwide this year.

The north Dublin home of a suspect believed to be centrally involved in the sale of counterfeit goods was also searched by detectives during the operation yesterday.

Around 15,000 devices and products were seized including earphones, USB plugs, phone chargers and games console controllers along with a vast amount of branded packaging.

Gardaí believe the massive consignment of fake products, which were recovered from a south Dublin business, were being made available for the Christmas market.

No person was detained during yesterday’s searches but detectives expect to make a number of arrests and will also carry out further searches as part of the investigation.

It is being led by the Intellectual Property Crime Unit within the Garda’s National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) as part of Operation Bannister.

A house in the Dublin 3 was searched, linked to a person suspected of involvement in the sale of counterfeit products.

A business premises in the Oak Close area of Dublin 12 was also raided where the massive haul of electronic devices and products was seized.

Gardaí seized around 10,000 branded packages of companies including Apple and Sony, along with the 15,000 bogus devices valued at around €300,000.

Hard-drives, along with documentation and mobile phones, were also recovered and will now be examined as part of the inquiry.

Detectives attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) were also involved in the operation along with the Garda Dog Unit.

A garda spokeswoman said: “Investigations are continuing, in the above-mentioned regard, and have involved the taking of statements from relevant potential witnesses.

“It is anticipated that following a comprehensive assessment of property seized suspects will be arrested.

“There is also potential for the undertaking of additional searches of relevant premises,” the spokeswoman added.

Due to the international dimension of intellectual property crime, gardaí are liaising with Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency.

Counterfeit products seized include earphones, USB plugs, phone chargers and game console controllers along with a vast amount of branded packaging was seized.

This, gardaí say, is for the purpose of “ensuring appropriate involvement on the part of Ireland, in relevant investigations that have a Europe-wide dimension”.

Members of the NBCI also liaised with a number of other organisations in the planning of yesterday’s raids.

This included REACT- a group made up of 280 rights owners- and Underwriters Laboratory, a global safety science company that test latest products and technologies for safety before they are marketed around the world.

Gardaí also liaised with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), which holds a dual mandate to enforce competition and consumer protection, in relation to Operation Bannister.

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