KPDNHEP foils online sales of fake face masks

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by BLOOMBERG

THE Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has curbed the sale of counterfeit face masks through online transactions in an operation in Puchong, Selangor, recently.

KPDNHEP managed to confiscate the counterfeit face masks with an estimated value of RM1,575 following four of its Putrajaya enforcement officers disguised as buyers and contacted the seller which eventually led them to the location where the face masks were packaged.

Raids and inspections on the premises found 35 boxes of the Cross Protection brand containing the counterfeits were seized and the suspect was arrested to assist in the investigation.

The remand application for the suspect was made at the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court with the court granting a four-day remand starting from June 30 until tomorrow.

KPDNHEP enforcement director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said the case is being investigated under Section 102 (1) (c) of the Trademark Act 2019 which is to have possession for trading goods for which a registered trademark is misused.

“I would like to remind traders to be more responsible and respectful of others’ intellectual property and to warn any individual or company not to violate the law, especially when it comes to selling and distributing counterfeit goods to avoid penalties under the law,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The operation was carried out based on information received from registered trademark owner Cross Protection (M) Sdn Bhd about the sale of counterfeit face masks on Facebook.

The results of the investigation revealed that the suspect would buy unbranded face masks from China and repackage the items using the Cross Protection brand box before advertising it on Facebook.

The method of sale is through order on WhatsApp and the items delivered via post or through cash on delivery in the Klang Valley area.

Iskandar further added that the public is encouraged to provide information on this activity to the ministry by reporting via its hotline 1-800-886-800 or 03-8882 6088 at the Enforcement Command Centre or by going to the nearest KPDNHEP offices.

“I also urge the public to be more careful and wise in choosing designer goods in the market so that they are not fooled by the tactics of some unethical traders who are trying to take advantage of them,” he added.