Five persons involved in the alleged duplication and sale of cosmetic products of Hindustan Unilever’s personal care brands Lakmé and Elle 18 — worth over Rs 9 lakh — were nabbed by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch Sunday, officials said.
“These duplicated products are usually dumped wholesale from Delhi or China, and they are brought to states like Gujarat to be sold to the masses. Among the duplicated products, the accused had some products which are discontinued by the company,” said FB Pathan, police inspector, Ahmedabad Crime Branch.
“People can’t usually tell the difference between cosmetics brands unless they’ve been using it for a while. Some people used these products (duplicated) and called up the customer care of the company. When they received frequent complaints from Ahmedabad, they forwarded them to their legal team. Then they reached out to us and we acted on it,” he further stated.
The five accused were identified as Suresh Rana (43), Sohail Ali Shaikh (42), Ilyas Mansuri (56), Ashfaq Shaikh (39) and Sohail Shaikh (33).
According to police officials, the seized products were a mix of different cosmetic products like kajal sticks, mascara, lipsticks, eyeliners, and more.
The police stated that they are currently questioning the accused to understand the source of acquisition among other details.
The accused have been charged under various IPC sections for forgery and of the Copyright Act.