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November 19, 2014

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11 people held for making fake lifts

POLICE in Jingzhou, central China’s Hubei Province, have detained 11 people on suspicion of selling counterfeit elevators worth an estimated 20 million yuan (US$3.3 million).

The units were made in underground workshops and sold under famous brand names — including Siemens, Samsung and Fuji — to hotels, apartments and office buildings in Hubei, Guangdong and Fujian provinces, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Police were alerted to the case in March after the quality supervision bureau in Jingzhou discovered that the elevators installed in a local hotel were fake, the report said.

After a six-month investigation, police identified three criminal groups, and following raids on eight underground workshops detained the 11 suspects and seized nearly 30,000 counterfeit parts.

About 100 complete elevators have also been confiscated, the report said.

One of the workshops, in the city of Foshan, Guangdong, was run by a man surnamed Wu, who had more than 10 years’ experience as an elevator technician, police said.

“Making (fake) elevators is very simple because the cabins all look the same from the outside,” Wu said.

“Anyone with a little knowledge of the production process can make them, as long as they can get the parts,” he said.

The gangs are also accused of falsifying safety and quality certificates, and buying genuine documents from unscrupulous officials, the report said.

In a bid to outwit their clients, they even mixed genuine elevators with fake ones, it said.

In recent years there have been several fatal elevator accidents in China.

In September, a Huaqiao University student was crushed to death after getting stuck between an elevator cabin and shaft on the Xiamen campus in southeast China’s Fujian Province. An investigation is ongoing.

In September 2012, 19 people were killed when an elevator plummeted from the 30th floor of an apartment building that was under construction in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province.

Investigators said that the lift had been installed despite having exceeded its approved service life.


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