Thirteen defendants were busted by a Shanghai court on January 11 for selling a combined total of nearly 1.1 million pieces of counterfeit imported fruit.
According to Labor Daily, the Intellectual Property Trial Division of the People's Court of Pudong dealt with six cases yesterday involving sellers sticking labels onto fruits with fake trademarked logos from Dole, Zespri, Sunkist and other well-known brands from the United States and New Zealand. Ordinary fruits with such labels could be marked up and sold for as much as double the original price.
All 13 defendants were involved in the fruit box business and prosecuted for crimes involving illicitly manufactured trademarks, with punishments including prison sentences, criminal detentions, fines and suspensions. The fruits were sold in both wholesale markets as well as online.
All in all, the court found that nearly 1.1 million pieces of fruit with shanzhai (counterfeit) labels had been sold over an unspecified period of time.
Some of the fake labels
In one case, a man surnamed Li was busted by authorities in May 2017 for running a scam fruit distribution business out of a packaging store in Pudong. Despite knowing that the labels he was purchasing online were fake, he continued to buy them in bulk anyway and sell the suspicious fruits through his own shop as well as through a network. The court found that he had sold 40,000 pieces of the counterfeit fruit and had an additional 141,000 pieces in stock. Police seized the fake labels and Li was sentenced to nearly three years in prison, as well as slapped with a fine of RMB9,000.
In another case, three were caught selling the suspicious fruits through a combination of markets and Taobao shops. The court found that they had already sold 14,000 units of fruit, and had an additional 18,000 in stock.
[Images via Hoxton Fruit, Sina]