A day’s workshop on effective enforcement of trade mark laws was held in Accra yesterday for police investigators.
The workshop, organised by Sollatek in collaboration with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was attended by regional crime officers, detectives and other personnel from across the country.
It was to sensitise the participants on the trade mark amendment Act and sharpen their skills on the modus operandi that counterfeiters use to outwit the security agencies.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines, the Director of Operations at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Chief Superintendent Felix Mawusi, said there was the need to educate crime officers on the amended trade mark law.
He said following the amendment of the trade mark law Act 664, 2004 to Act 876 which was promulgated in 2014, punishment for offenders had been enhanced.
For instance, Chief Supt. Mawusi said, dealers in counterfeits goods could attract a maximum of 15 years imprisonment or a minimum of five when caught importing, transporting or dealing in such goods.
Similarly, he said, the offender(s) could be fined a maximum of 7000 penalty units (GH¢ 84,000.00) or minimum of 250 penalty units (GH¢3,000). A penalty unit is GH¢12.00.
The Deputy Director of CID, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dennis Abade said the workshop had become necessary to sensitise detectives, crime officers and other personnel.
The Managing Director of Sollatek, Mr. Joe Fabin, said the issue of counterfeiting required prompt action before it gets out of hand.
He described as serious, how perpetrators made fake versions of products produced by legitimate institutions and got away with it.
He cited example of cables, sockets among others that were labelled products but were actually fake.
Mr. Fabin said the quest to deal with the challenges must be seen holistically and not left in the hands of the law enforcement agencies alone since it is dangerous to buy and use pirated goods.
He therefore, urged the public to be vigilant, reject such goods and report perpetrators to the police.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour & Aba Asamoah