Home » Judicial » Two Counterfeit Lock Traders Off the Hook

Two retailers who operate a hardware shop in Harare, who were nabbed for contravening the Trademarks Act by selling counterfeited, substandard locksets with a Chubb Locks Union of Zimbabwe logo, have been acquitted. Salim Patel (38) and Anwar Ismail Haveliwala (43), owners of Lucky Electrical Hardware in Harare Street, were facing allegations of selling locksets branded as Union and Yale, which are manufactured by Chubb Locks.

Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa cleared Patel and Haveliwala of the charges after a full trial.

Ms Mugwagwa ruled that the State failed to prove a prima facie case against the pair.

“The pair submitted that they bought the locksets from Dubai after they were misrepresented to be genuine.

“Even the representative of Chubb Locks Union accepted that the locksets looked exactly the same as theirs and any other person would not make a distinction.

“Zimra papers were confirmed to be in order by the investigating officer and this shows that the accused had no intention of importing counterfeits,” she said before subsequently setting the pair free.

Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri closed the State’s case after calling three witnesses.

Ms Mukumbiri maintained that the pair knew that the products were counterfeits because they once bought from Chubb Locks Union.

However, the investigating officer said Patel, who appeared on Chubb Locks Union invoices, was not the same as the accused.

After the judgment Ms Mukumbiri made an application to have the counterfeit products forfeited by the State. The pair’s lawyer, Mr Blessing Nyamwanza, objected to State’s application and is yet to make his submissions.

A brief brawl ensured outside the court room after Chubb Locks Union of Zimbabwe representative Mr Clive Majoni refused to accept the court ruling, but was later restrained by police.

The court heard that Chubb Locks is the only manufacturer and trader of Union and Locks locksets worldwide.

On April 2, Chubb Locks sales representative Bishop Nyaruwata came across imitations of Union and Yale brands being sold by Patel and Haveliwala.

Nyaruwata bought some of the locks and discovered that they had Chubb Locks codes and logos, although they were substandard, the court heard.

It is alleged that the counterfeit lock-sets were made of weak raw material and were of substandard weight.

On April 11, Nyaruwata went to Lucky Electrical Hardware and bought 20 Union and 30 Yale locksets valued at US$225 and US$240 respectively.

Chubb Locks took these to the police leading to the arrest of Patel and Haveliwala.

Police recovered 430 boxes containing 30 counterfeit locks.

Source : The Herald