Thousands of illicit goods seized in raids

March 17, 2014 - 4:13:13 am

Interpol officials during one of the raids as part of Shaheen operation.

DOHA: In a five-day-long crackdown on fake and counterfeit products in Qatar, 147 people were referred for investigation and 51,000 electrical goods and a number of other substandard products were confiscated.

The operation, named “Shaheen”, is said to be the first of its kind in the MENA region and was carried out by the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with Interpol.

The inspections were ordered by the Director General of Public Security, H E Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim Al Khulaifi, in the wake of the Interpol Regional Program to Counter Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Intellectual Property Crimes, held in Doha last week.

The meeting was attended by delegates from Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and some other Middle Eastern countries. The operation was carried out to implement papers presented in the conference.

The Arab and International Police Communication Department, representing the Ministry of Interior, the General Authority of Customs, and the Consumer Protection Department also took part in the campaign.

Interpol MENA coordinator and Operations Officer Aiham Yasmeenia said the ‘Shaheen’ operation was the first of its kind in the MENA region to check counterfeit and illicit goods and products.

The campaign lasted approximately five days and covered shops and warehouses across the country. Following the raids, 147 people were referred to investigating authorities and 51,000 electric items, including lights, electric welding ribbons and fuses, were seized. A large number of counterfeit audio and video products and auto parts, expired food items, substandard building material, several computers, printers and mobile phones were also seized.

The confiscated items included 20,000 fake auto parts including tyres, brakes, balance devices and air filters, and 31,000 expired food items with their expiry dates manipulated. Some 4,000 litres of sterilization gel used in hospitals, which had expired two years ago, was also seized.

Falah Al Dosari , a representative of the Ministry of Interior at Interpol and the criminal information officer at the organisation, said that the campaign was carried out after meticulous planning. 

Information on suspicious entities was made available by Consumer Protection Department and the General Authority of Customs and transferred to the Arab and International Police Department - Qatar (Interpol National Center - Qatar).

“The Ministry of Interior is in constant touch with Interpol, for all that is new and useful for the region in general and Qatar in particular... We may see in the future ‘Shaheen 2’ and ‘Shaheen 3’ on a broader regional scale and in a more comprehensive way through the exchange of information with neighbouring countries,” said the official. THE PENINSULA