Monday, 10 June 2013

Standards body impounds 400 fake television sets


RBS officials show a fake Sharp label on one of the impounded TV sets. 
The Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) has impounded 400 counterfeit television sets worth millions of francs. 

The TV sets were imported from China into the country by Davis Iraneje, a local business person, and were being presented as Sharp electronics, RBS officials said. 

Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the standards body director general, said the television sets were also technologically outdated. 

“We shall re-export the TV sets back to China. Otherwise, we risk being sued by the genuine Sharp TV sets makers since these are not Sharp products,” Cyubahiro explained. 

He added that the fake TV sets, which were impounded as Iraneje was clearing them at Magerwa customs point, were packed in Sharp packages and bore the firm’s serial numbers. 

Cyubahiro warned importers of fake goods would be dealt with severely, saying RBS will not allow Rwanda to be turned into a dumping ground of Chinese counterfeit products. 

Iraneje told RBS officials that he bought them from Leo Electrics Trading Company, a TV set manufacturing firm based in Guangzhou China. 

He insisted that the TV sets were genuine, arguing that he imported them through proper channels. 

Iraneje said each cost him about Rwf14,000.  

However, a quick search on the Internet by Business Times showed that Leo Electronic Trading Company makes hair dryers, electric heaters and gas stoves among others. It also operates from Zhongshan, Shenszhen Hongkong provinces and not Guangzhou as Iraneje alleged.

Desire Musangwa, the head of the imports inspection team at Magerwa customs, advised traders to import goods that meet standards. 

“Most traders mind about making profits without considering RBS standards and values,” Musangwa noted.

This was the second time since January that RBS was impounding counterfeit products. 

Recently, Richard Tusabe, the Rwanda Revenue Authority deputy commissioner, warned the public against counterfeit toothpaste, mobile phones, electronics and drugs on the market. 

“There is counterfeits Colgate from China, but the genuine Colgate is produced from South Africa.

“However, one cannot identify the fake Colgate unless they examine the package closely,” Tusabe, who is also the in charge of customs, explained.

According to article 614 of the new penal code on counterfeit or use of a counterfeit document and products, stipulates that any person who knowingly issues a document or a product containing materially incorrect facts, falsifies or modifies, in any way, an original document, knowingly uses an inaccurate or falsified document; shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than five to seven years and a fine of Rwf500,000 to Rwf2m.


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