Police in London have arrested three men alleged to have been selling counterfeit Cisco networking gear worth in excess of $10m.
The arrests were carried out by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in three villages in Hertfordshire. The men are aged 38, 36 and 35, but have not been named. Fake kit worth over $1m was found during the arrests.
The group is believed to have imported, exported and sold fake Cisco kit via a website and through telesales to unsuspecting companies.
The activities had been going on for some time. Police revealed that some 40 shipments of suspected counterfeit products sent to the US were intercepted by US Customs and Border Protection between December 2012 and April 2015.
PIPCU worked with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and Cisco’s own Global Brand Protection Team as part of the investigation.
Detective inspector Mick Dodge, of PIPCU, said the arrests showed that such activities would not go unpunished and that firms must be aware of the risks that fake products pose.
“Cisco products are used by organisations worldwide to underpin their IT infrastructures,” he said.
“Businesses need to have confidence in their supply chains and be aware of the risks that counterfeit products can have on their networks, potentially compromising integrity and functionality including significant network outages.”
V3 contacted Cisco for comment on the arrests but had received no reply at the time of publication.
The news comes in the same week that Cisco named Chuck Robbins as the firm's next chief executive. Robbins has spent 17 years at the company in various sales roles, and will take over officially in July. Current chief John Chambers will become executive chairman.
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