On May 8th, 2023, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (MDTCL) conducted a search of a warehouse in Kuala Lumpur suspected of containing counterfeit footwear from popular international sporting brands. During the search, a local businessman was apprehended and counterfeit products amounting to USD200,000 were seized. The business had been operating under various trade names on online business platforms and social media platforms since 2021. MDTCL’s swift and decisive action sends a clear message that it will not tolerate any form of illegal counterfeit trade in the country.
Investigators from GTS who supported the operation on site discovered that the counterfeit footwear, which was sourced from China, had already been packed in plastic sleeves to avoid detection by authorities. The products, numbering in the thousands, were shipped to Malaysia as individual purchases. Once in Malaysia, they were repackaged into the respective local courier sleeves before being shipped to local buyers. The supplier who made this packaging is doing so to confuse the customs officials in China. If the supplier were to package the boxes and plastic separately, there is a possibility that Chinese customs would detain and seize them. Previously, suppliers would send the boxes and shoes separately. Now, they have resorted to this to make it easier for resellers to sell and ensure that their products are safe from customs checks.
One of the most astonishing facts discovered during the investigation was that the price for the counterfeit products was close to the price of genuine products, indicating the magnitude of the illegal profits made by the local businessman.
Congrats to the MDTCL on a job well done. GTS together with the local authorities will continue to hunt counterfeiters online and bring them to face the music. The online counterfeiters cannot continue to “hide behind the cloud”.
As the fight against online counterfeiting continues, it’s important to remember the impact that these counterfeit products can have. Therefore, the work of the MDTCL and GTS is very crucial. As technology advances and more transactions move online, the battle against counterfeiters will continue to evolve and so must we.