Over 8,000 fake luxury watches worth Rs 1.4 crore seized from Kalbadevi
In a major haul, the Mumbai Crime Branch seized over 8,000 counterfeit branded wristwatches worth around Rs 1.4 crore from two wholesalers in Mumbai’s Kalbadevi area.
On Wednesday, police inspector Ninad Sawant, in-charge of Unit-IV, received a tip-off about the racket operating out of Sutar Chawl in Kalbadevi.
Acting on the tip-off, he and his team conducted simultaneous raids at two shops – ‘Real Time’ and ‘Divine Collection’.
“We conducted simultaneous raids at two shops in Sutar Chawl, one on the first floor and the other on the second and seized 1,805 watches worth Rs 32.37 lakh from the first shop and 6,693 watches worth Rs 1.07 crore from the second,” an officer told The Hindu.
A few samples of the watches were sent to respective brands, who confirmed that they were fake. The counterfeit watches bore the names of renowned brands like Omega, Piaget, Mont Blanc, Hublot, Panerai, Tissot, Versace, Cartier, Calvin Klein among others.
The watches typically sell for a few lakhs each. However, their fakes or ‘first copies’ typically fetch a few thousand rupees.
Meanwhile, the two shop owners, identified as Hitesh Gada (38) and Kunjan Gada (31), were arrested and charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Copyright Act.
“Inquiries so far have indicated that the duo is only one link in a larger supply chain. They would obtain wristwatches in bulk from a city-based supplier and sell them on a wholesale basis to retailers in Mumbai and the rest of the country,” the officer told the daily.
The current consignment was larger than usual as the accused were anticipating higher demand in wake of the upcoming festive season.