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December 9, 2010

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Foreign company staff steal for counterfeiters

EMPLOYEES of overseas-based companies in the city are stealing from their employers to meet the demand for high-tech parts from counterfeit producers, say prosecutors.

The Qingpu District Prosecutors' Office recently brought an indictment against four employees of a Japanese precision mechanical and electrical firm.

Two employees working on the production line stole more than 150,000 bearings valued at 25,000 yuan (US$3,754) in January. Two other employees bought the bearings and sold them on to waste collectors, prosecutors said.

Following a review, prosecutors were surprised to find that 28 employees of the company, including warehouse keepers, security guards and gatekeepers, had been charged with theft in the past two years.

According to the office, prosecutors handled 32 such cases involving 38 suspects last year. In the first nine months of this year, they investigated 33 cases involving 56 suspects.

Most of the cases took place within three companies - all listed in the top 500 globally - in Qingpu. They produce high-tech products such as micro bearings, integrated circuit chips and air bags, prosecutors found.

"Counterfeit producers want these high-tech parts as they have many uses and are difficult to copy," said Zhou Feng, a prosecutor with the office.

High-tech parts are often sold to counterfeiters for prices higher than market value because underground workshops can't get them through legal channels, Zhou said.


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