Ahmedabad Crime Branch nabs 5 for counterfeiting Lakme, Elle 18 cosmetics

Ahmedabad, Sep 19 : The Ahmedabad Crime Branch arrested five people for the duplication and sale of cosmetics from Hindustan Unilever's popular personal care brands Lakme and Elle 18. The seized counterfeit items, valued at over Rs 9 lakh, encompassed a wide array of cosmetic products, including kajal sticks, mascaras, lipsticks, eyeliners, and more, underscoring the magnitude of the operation. The culprits were nabbed on September 17 and this operation sheds light on a thriving underground market for counterfeit beauty products in India. Authorities have revealed that these duplicate products are usually bought wholesale from Delhi and China. They are then dumped in states like Gujarat to be sold to the masses. Among the counterfeit products seized from the accused were some cosmetics that had been discontinued by the company, adding a layer of complexity to the operation. One key challenge in combating this illicit trade is the difficulty faced by consumers in distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit cosmetics, particularly if they haven't used the brand for an extended period. Some consumers who purchased these counterfeit products reached out to the company's customer care division, triggering a chain reaction. The five individuals at the centre of this operation have been identified as Suresh Rana, Sohail Ali, Ilyas Mansuri, Ashfaq Shaikh, and Sohail Shaikh. The suspects are currently under interrogation, as law enforcement authorities seek to uncover the origin of these counterfeit products and delve into the network supporting their distribution. /IANS


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