Lazada partners with Panasonic and Thai police in largest seizure of fake products in Southeast Asia

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More than 82,000 counterfeit batteries seized were intended for sale on eCommerce platforms

BANGKOK, July 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Thai police have successfully dismantled a Panasonic counterfeiting ring and recovered over 82,000 fake batteries bearing Panasonic’s trademark. The seizure is the largest to date for the brand in Southeast Asia, with the batteries intended for sales on various eCommerce platforms.

The raid, which took place at a warehouse outside Bangkok in May, was the result of several months of close collaboration between Panasonic’s brand team and Lazada’s intellectual property rights protection team, who facilitated information sharing and provided evidence to the relevant Thai authorities.

As batteries are often classified as consumables, they are regularly overlooked as products that can be counterfeited, despite the risk that fake batteries are highly hazardous and can cause serious damage to a variety of household appliances.

Mr. Julawut Kanaruk, Deputy Director of Panasonic Management (Thailand) Co., Ltd, said: “Panasonic has a zero-tolerance policy toward counterfeit products, as they undermine the Panasonic brand by betraying customers’ trust. We aim to eliminate counterfeit sellers who target unsuspecting consumers. Panasonic appreciates working with eCommerce platforms like Lazada that share common goals such as ensuring consumer protection.”

Alan Chan, Lazada Group Chief Risk Officer, said: “Lazada prides itself on being a trusted and safe platform for consumers and sellers alike. Our platform governance team work tirelessly to uphold these high standards, collaborating with rights owners like Panasonic and law enforcement agencies.”

While Lazada can help provide leads via the digital trail that these criminals leave behind, only law enforcement and government agencies can put the criminals behind bars and permanently halt the counterfeit trade. In order to make real and tangible progress, the root cause must be addressed, and that means locating, arresting and taking actions against the counterfeiters who manufacture and trade in these goods in the physical world.

In this instance, Panasonic’s team discovered a seller whose products turned out to be counterfeits when the brand conducted a test purchase. To support Panasonic’s investigation, Lazada provided them with information on the seller’s digital footprint, which assisted in pinpointing the suspect’s whereabouts, leading to the eventual seizure of the batteries.

The successful raid follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet, led by Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property, Department of Business Development and Department of International Trade Promotion, which was signed by Lazada and various rights holders’ representatives in January 2021. Over the past 18 months, Lazada has worked closely with rights owners and authorities in Thailand that resulted in more than USD1.5 million worth of counterfeit goods being seized.

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