600 knock-offs of luxury watches seized from two Broadway shops

Fake Casio, Rado, Tissot watches seized from Sree Vishnu Watch & Time Fancy at Mather Bazar
Customers purchased these watches knowing very well that they were copies.
Customers purchased these watches knowing very well that they were copies. Photo | Express

KOCHI: Police and customs officers raided two watch shops on Broadway and seized around 600 knock-offs of designer brands. Apart from watches, they also recovered imitation sunglasses of a popular brand.

The raid was carried out after officials of a company possessing the patent and trademark rights of Casio, Rado, Tissot in India approached Ernakulam Central police over counterfeits being sold at various shops on Broadway. Based on the information, two shops – Sree Vishnu Watch and Time Fancy – at Mather Bazar were searched on Wednesday evening.

From Sree Vishnu Watch shop, officers recovered over 510 sham Casio and Tissot products. Time Fancy yielded around 80 Casio, Rado, Tissot and Longines watches, besides 30 Ray-Ban sunglasses. The owners of the shops have been booked for violation of the Copyrights Act.

“Customers purchased these watches knowing very well that they were copies. Considering the aura surrounding luxury watches and their promotion on social media platforms, fake watches are popular with youngsters. Sham versions of luxury watches that originally cost over `1 lakh were being sold for between Rs 5,000-10,000,” an officer said.

On Thursday, police and customs officers conducted searches at various other watch shops on Broadway.

Police have decided to investigate the source of the fake watches.

“The shop owners claimed that they procure the watches from cities like Bengaluru and New Delhi. They buy in bulk from suppliers in other states. We need to unearth where such products are being manufactured,” he said.

Last year, following a complaint filed by a Mumbai-based firm that represents Apple Inc, officers carried out a search at various mobile phone outlets in Kochi and seized reproductions. Among the seized items were Apple-branded phone covers, ear buds, USB cables and adapters.

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