Singapore – A woman who imported counterfeit branded bags and sold them live on Facebook has been jailed for owning merchandise with misplaced brands for sale.
Le Thi Thu Lang, 33, from Vietnam, started selling counterfeit clothing on Carousell in May 2019.
Two months later, she went live on Facebook selling the counterfeit items while sourcing them from Vietnamese suppliers.
Le bought the clothes for SGD 3 to 10 each and sold them up to double the price.
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Their product range included Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès bags, as well as other local brands such as Charles and Keith.
Interested buyers would comment on their video, and Le would process the orders and get paid through PayNow or PayLah, reported Channel news Asia.
For each Facebook Live session, Le would make an estimated S $ 200.
In December 2020, Singapore Customs notified the authorities of an arrested shipment of bags suspected of being counterfeit.
Two days later, police raided Le’s home and confiscated around 520 counterfeit items, including 96 Gucci dresses, 69 Louis Vuitton dresses, 13 Balenciaga bags and nine pairs of Versace shoes.
Le was arrested while some of the confiscated goods were being checked by branding experts.
The Gucci inspector said the items were made from “non-standard” and “substandard” materials or craftsmanship, while the Adidas inspector said the items were “the lowest counterfeit.”
Both Chanel and Louis Vuitton also commented on the goods inspected and came to similar conclusions.
Le, who spoke through an interpreter, said she was “very sorry” for what she had done and that she had “poor knowledge of Singaporean law.”
She pleaded guilty under the Trademark Act to owning merchandise for sale with incorrectly affixed trademarks on five counts, with 15 other similar charges being considered.
Le was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday (October 5) after prosecutors requested four to six months in prison.
Strong intellectual property protection is “an integral part of Singapore’s economic and industrial success”; Therefore, deterrence is necessary, said the prosecutor.
Upon hearing of her verdict, Le tried to pay a fine instead for having a family to support, such as her 80-year-old mother-in-law.
Her husband also asked for mercy and said, “Yes, I admit that my wife was ignorant. I also admit it’s my fault because I don’t really care about the family. “
Her motions have been denied despite the judge’s postponing the verdict until October 19 so that she can settle her personal affairs.
For each charge of her offense, Le would have been imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to S $ 100,000, or both.
According to singaporelegaladvice.com, buying counterfeit goods in Singapore is illegal if the buyer does so with the intent to sell, trade or manufacture those goods.
Counterfeit goods bought abroad and brought to Singapore can also be confiscated upon import. / TISG
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