News

Chinese men freed in counterfeit items case

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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Two Chinese who were arrested and charged in 2017 after $10 million worth of counterfeit items were seized at a store in Montego Bay, St James, have been freed.

Yangsen Li and Yousen Xiao were freed after Parish Judge Sandra Wong-Small upheld a no case submission by their attorneys Wentworth Charles and Viv Golaub last Friday.

Yangsen was charged with breaches of the Consumer Protection Act and five counts of unauthorised use of a trademark for brands including Nike, Adidas, Converse, Jordan, and Louis Vuitton, while Yousen was charged with eight counts of unauthorised use of a trademark for brands including Converse, Nike, Adidas and Louis Vuitton.

The two were arrested on December 20, 2017 during an operation carried out by Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) officers at Beauty Queen Haberdashery, 11-13 St James Street, Montego Bay.

A day after the men were arrested, head of the C-TOC Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, told reporters at a press briefing at his Orange Street offices in downtown Kingston that 733 pairs of Converse sneakers, 240 pairs of Nike slippers, 372 pairs of Nike sneakers, 76 pairs of Adidas slippers, six Louis Vuitton travel bags, three Gucci travel bags, two Puma hats, five Adidas hats, 18 Nike hats, 11 Jordan hats, and 15 Gucci purses were seized.

However, following a three-day trial in 2018, attorneys representing the Chinese men indicated to the court that they wished to make a no case submission which was done on December 14.

Judge Wong-Small, after reviewing the application, ruled that both men had no case to answer.

The men were freed on the basis that the evidence was not presented to the court to reflect that the items were offered for sale to the public and the charges under this section can only relate to goods offered for sale. The charges laid against the men were duplicitous and the prosecution was unable to prove whether or not the items seized were for sale.


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