DuPont Refrigerants completed a five-year effort to achieve shutdown of a suspected trader of counterfeit refrigerants in United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The trader’s counterfeit activities were far-reaching, with links to counterfeit refrigerant gases found in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
In late 2007, Kemya House International (KHI) was identified as a suspected trader of counterfeit refrigerants in a market survey. In 2008, purchases were made on behalf of DuPont in the U.A.E., and DuPont confirmed the goods as counterfeits. The counterfeits were found in cylinders of R-22 refrigerant gas that were illegally branded with the DuPont Freon trademark in a warehouse operated by Levant Global on behalf of KHI. DuPont filed complaints with law enforcement and police conducted a raid, seizing counterfeit refrigerant cylinders, machines, printing templates, and counterfeit packaging for DuPont refrigerants.
The raid exposed KHI’s practice of importing pre-filled unbranded refrigerant containers from China and relabeling the containers with the DuPont brand name. Laboratory tests confirmed that the seized cylinders were counterfeit and the case was transferred to Criminal Court. In late 2009, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the owner of KHI - Mr. Yousuf Al-khateeb.
In 2010, before Mr. Al-khateeb was apprehended, DuPont discovered that the Levant Global warehouse had resumed counterfeiting operations. A second complaint was filed with police on behalf of DuPont and another refrigerant producer. A second raid yielded seizure of counterfeit cartons and containers with the DuPont name. The raid included seizure of valve shrink wrap, printing screens and machinery, filling machinery, invoices, records and correspondence. The filling machinery was evidence that the warehouse was used to fill containers with generic gas and other products. The warehouse was sealed by police for a second time. Mr. Al-khateeb was apprehended and sentenced to two years in prison for the crime of counterfeiting.
“This case is another example of the DuPont commitment to fight counterfeit refrigerants globally,” said Greg Rubin, global business manager, DuPont Refrigerants. “We are working with customs officials and law enforcement in every region of the world to ensure these cases can be pursued and prosecuted. We are determined in our pursuit of counterfeiters due to the safety risks inherent in the production and distribution of these illegal and potentially harmful products.”
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