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Police charge two Toronto men with selling dangerous counterfeit electrical products

Toronto, ON -- Following a two month investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area F...


Toronto, ON — Following a two month investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto Area Federal Enforcement Section have charged two Toronto-area men and a Toronto import-export company with four counts each of dealing in counterfeit products.

Charged are: Saleem Khan, 59, Inverdon Rd., Etobicoke, Ont., Faroze Khan, 35, Indian Summer Trail, Mississauga, Ont., and Cana Import Export Ltd., The Queensway, Etobicoke, Ont.
Police allege the accused knowingly took part in the sale and distribution of counterfeit electrical products, which were determined to cause a danger to the public as they were known to be a shock and fire hazard.

In January 2005, the RCMP executed search warrants at Cana Import Export Ltd. Police seized approximately 517 electrical power bars, approximately 936 orange heavy duty extension cords and approximately 5,470 assorted household extension cords bearing forged Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification markings.

When tested by Underwriters Laboratories, the counterfeit extension cords melted and caught fire within a matter of minutes. The power bars were found to have undersized wiring and no surge suppression. They were also found to have reverse polarity wiring, which is a shock hazard, and a plastic casing that ignited immediately since it was not made of fire resistant material.

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Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are two of the most widely recognized names in product safety testing. The Canadian public trusts products with these certification markings to be safe for use in their homes and businesses.

“Knowingly selling and distributing hazardous counterfeit products such as these is a threat to public safety and to each and every person who purchases them,” said Constable Judy Laurence of the RCMP Greater Toronto Area Federal Enforcement Section. “It also defrauds retailers who are selling legitimate products and undermines public confidence in the safety certification process.”

“Internationally, Interpol has indicated that organized crime and terrorist groups have become involved in the trade of counterfeit products,” added Constable Laurence. “The profits generated from these sales go to other areas of criminal and terrorist activities.”

“Underwriters Laboratories is extremely pleased with the responsiveness and dedication shown by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” said Steve Wenc, acting general counsel and director of ethics and compliance for Underwriters Laboratories Inc. “They have devoted considerable resources, time and effort to catch the perpetrators of these crimes and have never wavered in their commitment to this initiative.”

“Though instances of counterfeit UL Marks are rare, when we learn of it, we use every possible measure to see the criminals bought to justice,” added Wenc.

Other hazardous products seized at Cana include approximately 1,400 baby bottles and approximately 60 pacifiers.

These seizures and charges are part of Project Ocat, an RCMP anti-counterfeiting initiative launched in October 2004 with a mandate to target counterfeit products in the Greater Toronto Area. Since its inception, Project Ocat has seized more than $3 million (retail price) of counterfeit products, including toys, sports jerseys, clothing, ball caps, pharmaceuticals, work boots, running shoes, batteries, shampoo, computer software, computer games, anti-virus software, electrical products, lights and lamps. Most of these counterfeit items were seized at various cargo and postal facility outlets in the Greater Toronto Area.

The accused are scheduled for a first court appearance on Tuesday, April 26th, 2005, in Room 111 at Old City Hall, Toronto, Ontario. The investigation continues.