Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Announces Largest Single Raid in 5 years
The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) today announced the largest single seizure in the past five years, confiscating more than 29,000 pieces of counterfeit golf equipment and supplies from a facility in Dongguan, a major industrial center in Guangdong Province, China.
Seized in the raid were 592 finished clubs, 1,623 semi-finished clubs, 6,780 club heads, 3,340 grips, 1,990 headcovers and more than 15,000 pieces of stickers and marks that bear group members’ logos, including Titleist, PXG, Callaway, TaylorMade, PING, XXIO and Cleveland.
“As our largest single raid in more than a half decade, this seizure signifies two things. One, that we are committed to fighting counterfeiters and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice. And two, that the production of fake golf equipment is still a very serious issue that more golfers need to be aware of,” said Sonia Lari, Senior Corporate Counsel, Callaway.
“Consumers need to understand that the risks of purchasing fake golf equipment goes beyond performance – they can even be dangerous to use. The only way for consumers to guarantee that they are not purchasing counterfeit products is to buy from an authorized retailer or reseller.”
The recent raid was carried out by local government law enforcement authorities in Dongguan and Taixing and took place in October. The key locations of the counterfeits, including the shipping center, the warehouse and the assembling workshop, were raided simultaneously by more than 30 officers from Dongguan and Taixing public security bureau (PSB), with assistance from 12 investigators and other legal counsel. Computer data, sales records, buyer lists and delivery notes including names and addresses were also found at the location and seized for further investigation. In total, five suspects are being held in custody for investigation.
“Just because this raid was completed does not mean this investigation is over. We will continue to work with local authorities, who are following up on leads generated from the raid that we hope will lead to additional prosecutions,” said Frankie Ho, Global Intellectual Property Counsel, PXG. “To continue to protect consumers against counterfeiters, all group members are working together with authorities to discover new ways to identify and shut down these illegal operations. While there are still counterfeiters producing fake golf products, they’re starting to find out that these practices are unacceptable and once found, we will ensure they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. We promise to continue to fight this ongoing battle against fakes and to keep golf real.”
To help consumers learn more about counterfeit products and their inherent risks, The Golf Group posts relevant information on its website www.keepgolfreal.com, and on its new Facebook page. On the Golf Group’s new social media channel, golfers can stay up to date on the latest news, tips and insights on how to avoid counterfeit equipment, as well as report suspected counterfeit golf equipment sellers directly to the Golf Group.
About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group
The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of six of the most well-known golf companies in the world—Acushnet Company, whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron; Callaway-Odyssey; Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO; PING; PXG; TaylorMade. Formed in 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has supported the efforts of international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. Since its inception, the Golf Group’s legal efforts led to the shutdown of more than 1,500 websites and authorities have seized more than two million counterfeit golf products.