Amazon Helps Disrupt Three Major Counterfeit Networks, Protecting Customers Worldwide from Fake Goods
Amazon has announced the identification and disruption of three counterfeiting operations in China thanks to local Public Security Bureaus (PSB) and intel provided by Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU). Law enforcement seized more than 240,000 counterfeit items in the Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces. The items were imitations of luxury, sports, and automotive brands. The seizure prevented the fake products from reaching Amazon customers or being sold elsewhere in the supply chain. These seizures of counterfeit goods based on intelligence from Amazon follow similar actions by law enforcement in England and the U.S. that took place in California and New Jersey.
“Our efforts to identify and dismantle counterfeit organizations are working,” said Kebharu Smith, associate general counsel and director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “We appreciate law enforcement acting on our referrals and thoroughly pursuing these cases. These outcomes protect Amazon customers, disrupt the counterfeit supply chain, and halt their illicit proceeds.”
Information and intelligence provided by Amazon’s CCU to local authorities, including the locations of warehouses and manufacturing facilities, led to the successful identification and disruption of three major counterfeit networks and their upstream suppliers. The main suspects have been detained by local PSBs for further investigation. Any infringing listings connected to these cases have been eliminated.
Upon searching the facilities, law enforcement seized more than 130,000 counterfeit car accessories and fake brand labels that infringed on many brands’ intellectual property including BMW, Porsche, and General Motors; nearly 80,000 counterfeit luxury products; and more than 30,000 pieces of counterfeit clothing and fake brand labels that infringed on Hugo Boss, Puma and Under Armour’s intellectual property among others. This latest effort adds to the more than 3 million counterfeit products Amazon identified, seized, and appropriately disposed of last year, which included counterfeits sent to Amazon’s fulfillment centers in an unsuccessful attempt to sell to Amazon customers.
Amazon has also cooperated with local PSBs in China on operations involving bad actors that illegally purchased government-issued personal identities and business licenses in an attempt to register fraudulent Amazon seller accounts. As a result, 84 individuals were detained. Last year, Amazon stopped more than 2.5 million attempts by bad actors around the world to create new selling accounts, preventing them from listing a single product for sale.
Amazon works across the globe to fight counterfeit networks, recently filing joint lawsuits with well-known brands, including Cartier, GE Appliances, WWE, Salvatore Ferragamo, and FELCO. Through its partnership with brands of all sizes, Amazon’s CCU constantly uncovers new approaches counterfeiters take to try to deceive customers and evade the law. The CCU uses that intelligence to equip law enforcement to pursue bad actors. In 2021, the CCU sued or referred for investigation over 600 criminals in the U.S., UK, EU, and China.
“There is no place for fraud on Amazon,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Amazon’s Worldwide Selling Partner Services. “The production and sale of counterfeit goods poses serious harm to the intellectual property rights of the brands involved, as well as to the legitimate interests of honest sellers—and the customers who place their trust in our stores. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we will not stop until we drive counterfeits to zero, and we will continue to invest and innovate until we get there.”