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December 4, 2019

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12 suspects accused in fake French oyster scam

Twelve suspects have been caught for allegedly selling fake oysters under the French brand Gillardeau, Shanghai police said yesterday.

The oysters were edible, but were not French.

Police in Baoshan District started their investigation after the French company reported that fake oysters under its brand were being sold in Shanghai, Beijing and Zhejiang Province.

Police found two people running an oyster shop at a seafood market in the Pudong New Area were selling the oysters in fake packaging purchased from Jiangxi Province. The oysters cost only 14 yuan (US$2) each, but they were sold at 31 yuan to Beijing and Zhejiang Province.

The suspects were rounded up on October 13 in nine locations. Over 20,000 fake labels and 900 fake packages, as well as 1,000 fake French oysters, were seized.

Police said the authentic counterparts of the fake oysters would be worth over 40 million yuan.

Five of the suspects have been arrested and seven have been put on bail.

This is just one case in a national campaign to crackdown on infringement of intellectual property rights which began in July.

So far, Shanghai police said they had solved about 300 such cases and caught over 760 suspects, with the authentic counterparts of the fake products worth over 4.1 billion yuan.

White Rabbit, a famous milk candy brand from Shanghai, was not spared from the scams.

Eight suspects were caught from Liaoning Province on November 4 for allegedly producing fake milk candy under the brand’s name.

Guan Sheng Yuan, the company which owns the brand, reported to the police in early September that fake White Rabbit candies were being sold on the market at lower prices.

While the wholesale price of a box of authentic candy is 438 yuan, the fake candies were sold at 400 yuan for each such box, the company said.

The fakes were partly sold through WeChat as well, police said.

Police found that a man surnamed Zhao and his wife, who live in Liaoning, started to print fake packages and produce fake candy this year without authorization from Guan Sheng Yuan.

During their raid in November, police seized over 500,000 fake White Rabbit candies from Zhao’s factory and over 100,000 pieces of fake packaging.

Two suspects have been arrested and six have been put on bail.

Shanghai police said they have visited over 40 companies in Shanghai this year to gather clues about infringement of intellectual property rights.


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