Cops bust fake printer ink syndicate
KUALA LUMPUR: Police busted an international syndicate that been raking in millions of ringgit by supplying fake Hewlett Packard printer ink to Middle East and African countries with the arrest of a Singaporean. Federal Commercial Crime Department director Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said police made their move following information from HP representatives in the United States.“HP made a statutory declaration (SD) on the case and we launched our investigation after we receiving the SD,” Syed Ismail said.It was understood that the SD was necessary in investigations involving copyright issues.He said police moved in on the main suspect, a 38-year-old Singaporean, and seized two boxes of ink cartridges from him. The suspect who is married to a local, then took police to his condominium unit in Brickfields.“There we seized several documents and a computer,” Syed Ismail said.He said the suspect then led police to an industrial area in Bukit Permai Utama, Ampang where the fake ink was produced and packed using HP packaging.Police arrested a 48-year-old local woman believed to be the man’s business partner and 11 Myanmar workers at the premises.“We also seized 252 boxes of of ink cartridges, computers and documents,” he said.He said initial investigations, based on the seized documents, revealed that the syndicate had been operating for two years. Their main clients were in Bahrain and Tunisia.“We also believe that they used re-cycled ink cartridges to distribute their products,” Syed Ismail said.He said the Singaporean was arrested last year for the same offence. It was a joint operation between police and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs.“They handled the investigations. We do not know what happened to that case,” he said, adding that police will be working closely with HP on this case.All those arrested are being investigated for infringement under the Section 41(1) of Copyright Act 1987. They can be fined a maximum RM20,000 for each copy seized, a maximum of five years’ imprisonment, or both.