Fake laundry detergent warehouse found in Rīga

State Police have detained a group of criminals on suspicion of falsifying the laundry detergent “Ariel” in large quantities, police said Friday.

Police detained the driver of a “Scania” truck - a Polish citizen - on November 10. The search of the Scania vehicle and the semi-trailer resulted in the detection and removal of approximately 20,500 kilograms (kg) of a substance similar to laundry detergent “Ariel”, with signs of forgery.

Other members of the criminal group, with the aim of taking out the products and packages left behind, thus hiding their tracks, arrived from Lithuania on November 12 in two trucks with semi-trailers to a warehouse in Rīga, Dārzciems district, where washing powders and liquids were stored and packed. Officers detained those individuals while loading the fake produce.

Police carried out searches at the premises where fake washing powders and liquids were stored and packed, illegally using the trademark Ariel. Around 22,000 kg more washing powder and liquid substances were found and removed there. Pallets with packaging blanks, sticker rolls, pallets with cardboard sheets, adhesives, and glue guns, as well as false cargo accompanying documents were also found during searches..

According to the information available to the police, the product produced was intended for distribution in Europe.

Criminal proceedings have been initiated in respect of the unlawful use of a trademark, other distinguishing mark or design, the counterfeiting of a label or the deliberate use or distribution of a counterfeit label, if it has been committed to a significant extent or if it has caused significant harm, and if it has been committed by a group of persons by prior agreement. For such a crime, the law provides for imprisonment of up to four years or temporary imprisonment, community service, or a fine.

Oon November 14, one detainee allegedly involved in organizing the crime was placed on bail detention.

Information available to the police shows that these products are likely to have been produced outside the European Union.

The Police are calling for an account to be taken of the fact that counterfeiting of products not only causes harm to trade mark proprietors, but can also endanger the health and life of consumers.

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