Rip-off shoes racket busted

Ahmedabad: The branded shoes you bought through a shopping portal might be a ‘first copy.’ A team of state police’s CID (crime) raided a warehouse in Surat and seized more than 3,000 pairs of footwear on Friday. Police have also seized packaging material of online portal brands.

According to CID (crime) officials, working on information received by DGP Ashish Bhatia about rip-offs of branded shoes being sold in Surat, a team of inspector D M Mishra raided three shops and a warehouse and found the stock along with packaging material including boxes and polythene bags, computers and phone, all worth Rs 1.73 crore. In a complaint filed with Chowk Bazaar police station, CID (crime) has named Abdul Chamadiya and his partners as accused in the case.

“The packaging material points to the possibility that duplicate branded shoes were sold online as original. The sellers would provide huge discounts on these products. While no owner or staff member has been found, we will bring in experts to verify order details. We learned that the shop also has mobile app for the online sale of stock,” said an investigator.

Sources said it is possible that the stock may have come to Surat from China through Mumbai. “We are yet to ascertain who all are involved but there is a huge market for duplicate products and efforts are on to identify key players in this multi-crore business,” said an official.

CID (crime) in the past has cracked down on duplicate branded watches in the Diamond City along with branded accessories. Senior officials said that they are working on a record number of copyright and trademark violation cases this year.

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