Patna, Sept. 28: When you buy skincare products to glow this festive season, be on your guard for not all of them will make you look pretty. Fakes of branded cosmetics have found their way not only into small outlets but also supermarkets and malls.
Police recovered a large consignment of counterfeit skincare products yesterday from the popular 9to9 Supermarket in the Bandar Bagicha area under Kotwali police station.
All the products, including face creams, moisturisers and deodorants, recovered during the raid are fakes of a famous international brand Olay, which belongs to a US-based company. Some of the products were priced as high as Rs 700 to Rs 1,000.
Police said executives of the company, who had come to the state capital four months ago, had tipped them off.
Patna city central superintendent of police (SP) Shivdeep Lande told The Telegraph: “The representatives of the company had bought some of their products available in the supermarket. They ran tests on the cosmetics and found them to be fakes. We conducted the raid based on their report.”
He added that the batch numbers on the wrapper and the body of all the products differed. The company had authorised the supermarket to sell only 96 units of its products. The shop had, however, sold more than 300 units. This means that the remaining products were all fakes.
The manager of the supermarket has been arrested.
“He signed a bond claiming he had no clue about the counterfeit products as he was just an employee. We let him go on the basis of the bond,” said Lande.
He added: “The shop was not sealed but only locked up yesterday so that the records could not be tampered with. We are investigating the case at present.”
The owners of the supermarket were not available for comment.
Lande said representatives of different companies and brands had approached the city police earlier as well, fearing that counterfeits of their products were being sold in the state capital.
“We have been approached by companies like Hindustan Lever, Bajaj Auto, Castrol, Asian Paints, Lakme and others. Raids have been conducted on the basis of their complaints. In Patna, it is possible to find counterfeits of just about everything. However, it is a major cause of concern if such products are being sold in popular shops and supermarkets as well,” said the officer.
He added that Patna City was the hotbed for the manufacture and distribution of such products. Fakes of cosmetics, detergents, automobile spare parts, liquor, baby products, sports goods and everything else was easily available all over the city.
Between February and June this year, the police conducted raids at 17 places, including Gandhi Maidan, Kotwali, Jakkanpur, Pirbhore, Kadamkuan, SK Puri, Khagaul, Danapur and Didarganj, and recovered large consignments of fake products. In most of these raids, the personnel of the local police stations were not involved.
“It is well known that the police are in connivance with the criminals. Hence, the raids have been planned very discretely. Only a handful of policemen have been involved in these. There is always the chance of a raid getting busted if the local police station is involved,” said a police officer.
He added that these products were in demand not only in the state but outside as well. “They are supplied to Calcutta, Ranchi and Delhi as well,” he said.