COUNTERFEIT Panasonic products were seized from two outlets at a shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s enforcement division, with the support of Panasonic, was initially investigating 10 retailers on online platforms that were selling hair clippers carrying the brand name.
The investigation led to the retailers’ physical stores in Kuala Lumpur and their suppliers, which were raided by an eight-man team from the enforcement division.
With the help of Lazada’s brand protection team, further action will be taken against the online retailers to stop them from selling fake Panasonic products on the platform.
“With the cooperation of Panasonic representatives, we successfully crippled the distribution of counterfeit Panasonic electrical products, ” said the ministry’s enforcement director-general Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman.
“Two outlets in the Kuala Lumpur shopping complex, including a storage place, were raided and 94 suspected counterfeit Panasonic products were seized — namely hair clippers, blenders and irons.
“These products were sold online at a low price as well as at the retail outlets, ” he said.
Concerned that most of these counterfeit products were of low quality and not certified by Sirim, Iskandar said: “Counterfeit electrical products pose a fire and safety hazard, so we strongly condemn the sale of these items by unscrupulous traders.
“Consumers need to be aware of what they are getting and be cautious, especially when they are buying online where the pictures you see in the advertisement may not be the product you will actually receive.
“We are warning traders to stop selling such dangerous products to unsuspecting consumers.
“More action will be taken and offenders will face criminal prosecution, with fines and jail upon conviction.
“Foreigners found conducting these illegal activities will be reported to the Immigration Department for further action.
“We will ensure that those who continue to be involved in counterfeit activities will be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering Act too, ” he added.
Panasonic Malaysia marketing director Fumiaki Tanaka, in thanking the enforcement division for their action, said: “We are aware that it is not easy to investigate online sellers and identify their physical location and storage places.
“We appreciate the strong efforts of the ministry and share Iskandar’s concerns about the risks of purchasing counterfeit electrical products.
“In this case, all the fake products are non-existent models or designs of Panasonic. They have abused the Panasonic brand and are betraying consumers.”
Tanaka said Panasonic had a zero-tolerance policy against fake products and they would do their best to work with the government to protect customers from potentially dangerous counterfeit products.
He noted that electrical appliances were tightly regulated in Malaysia and a certificate of approval was a must before they were manufactured, imported, exhibited, sold or advertised.
“Counterfeit electrical products are unsafe and pose a fire hazard. We encourage consumers to be vigilant and to purchase their Panasonic products from reputable electrical shops, our official website or our brand e-commerce stores, and must ensure the products are certified by Sirim.
“Due to Covid-19, more consumers are shopping online. With this trend, we are also seeing more online sale of counterfeit goods as it is so much easier to sell fakes online because consumers are not able to inspect the product before purchasing.”
He said that to eradicate counterfeit goods, Panasonic had implemented extensive measures globally to protect its customers. These measures are targetted at various stages of counterfeit goods production and distribution, including manufacturers, major trade shows, importers/exporters, wholesalers and distributors.
Tanaka also thanked Lazada for ensuring only genuine Panasonic products were sold on the platform.
Lazada’s LazMall works directly with brands to list authentic products on the e-commerce site.
To avoid being duped into buying fake goods, consumers are advised to purchase Panasonic products directly from www.panasonic.com.my or through the brand’s authorised partners, listed on www.panasonic.com/my/consumer/where-to-buy
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