Chinese man quilty of making fake Malawi football team replica jerseys

The Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe on Tuesday has adjourned the case involving a Chinese businessman who was found guilty for making fake Malawi national football team replica jerseys to 15th January, 2013.

According to assistant superintendent Damiano Phillip, he identified the man as Haung Hong Gin (44), of Chinese nationality.

“His offence was making a false representation of a trade mark which is contrary to section 69 Subsection (1) of the Trade Mark Act.

“Under this section the convict will have to pay K500, 000 or face six months imprisonment,” Phillip said.

“The jerseys are FAM’s protected property therefore before selling or designing them one has to get permission from FAM in this case Gin admitted that he did not get the permission from FAM.” He said.

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He said on 7th January the sales representative of the Flames replica jerseys Pyson Likagwa on behalf of FAM was tipped off that the Chinese businessman in Lilongwe was selling their jerseys.

“Likagwa immediately started following the story and he met a man in Lilongwe’s Area 3 wearing the fake jersey, he then asked the man to take him where he bought the jersey that is when he was taken to Gins shop,” said the superintendent.

Phillip said after being taken to the shop Gin was asked to take the police where he kept the rest of the jerseys, he took them to his warehouse where 967 fake replica jerseys were found and confiscated.

“Gin was arrested and pleaded guilty in court that he did not take permission from FAM when he started selling the jerseys and that he took the original Replica jersey as a sample and sent it to his homeland China,” he explained.

“The fake replica jerseys were then designed and sent back to him and he started selling them at K1, 500 on order price and K3, 000 retail prices they also designed them with similar FAM logo and the Malawi government’s emblem,” Phillip added.

Phillip further said that in mitigation the businessman said he did not know that making his own replica jerseys was a crime but Resident Magistrate Sara Beza said ignorance of the law has got no defense.

The magistrate found the accused guilty but she adjourned the case to 15th January to pass the sentence.

FAM asked South African sportswear designers Puma to start designing the flames replica jerseys which are sold at K9, 000 to raise money for the national team due to financial problems the organization is facing.

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