Knock-off cellphone accessories seized, value pegged at more than $100K: RCMP
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:58AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:43PM CST
Searches were carried out at four different locations in Winnipeg on Aug. 14, with officers seizing a range of counterfeit and knock-off cellphone components and accessories valued at more than $100,000, said police.
“We seized well over a thousand pieces of counterfeit cellular phone parts and cellular phone items,” said Sgt. Line Karpish from the RCMP.
Officers said the locations included businesses in the 500 block and 600 block of Portage Avenue, along with in the 500 block of St. Anne’s Road and one location at Kildonan Place. Police did not release the names of the shops.
The police investigation started four months ago.
RCMP said the counterfeit and knock-off cellular phone components and accessories included ones featuring Apple, BlackBerry and Motorola screens, speakers, cases and covers.
The owner of the Portage Avenue store and two others raided wouldn’t speak to CTV News on camera but said he runs legal businesses, all independent shops, and uses aftermarket parts that he never tries to pass off as Apple or BlackBerry-approved products.
Karpish said Apple and BlackBerry do not permit even authorized dealers to repair their products on site and do not ship them repair parts.
“That’s a red flag for the public – if someone says they can repair it in-house for you, you’re getting a counterfeit part, most likely,” said Karpish.
The Consumers Association of Canada hopes raids such as the ones Aug. 14 help educate the public.
“It’s about doing your homework. Sometimes it’s about resisting what is an unreasonably good deal. Sometimes if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I know that’s trite – everyone says it, but it’s true,” said Gloria Desorcy from the Consumers’ Association of Canada.
So far, arrests have not been made following the raids. If charges are laid, they could fall under the Trade-marks Act.
RCMP continue to investigate.
CTV News contacted MTS to find out what that company's policy is on repairs.
“MTS encourages customers to submit their wireless devices for repair through their MTS Connect Store or dealer. MTS also encourages its retail partners to inform their customers of potential unauthorized repair shops and to suggest that customers verify that the shop is authorized to do repairs by the manufacturer of their device,” said an MTS spokesperson in a statement.
- with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley