Fri, 08 Dec 2000

Thousands of false 'Lea' jeans confiscated

JAKARTA (JP): Police personnel raided on Wednesday a warehouse manufacturing imitation Lea jeans in the small-scale industrial complex (PIK) on Jl. Penggilingan, East Jakarta, an officer said on Thursday.

East Jakarta Police chief of detectives Sr. Insp. Agus Irianto said the officers seized thousands of replica jeans from the warehouse, owned by the suspect, Muskamal, alias Buyung.

Few weeks ago, police also managed to seize thousands of similar fake Lea jeans from a warehouse in West Jakarta.

The Wednesday raid was spurred after police received a report several weeks ago from PT Lea Sanent in West Jakarta, the licensed manufacturer of the jeans, that many unauthentic versions of the jeans were sold at Tanah Abang regional market in Central Jakarta.

"Police detectives learned that the fake jeans had come from a warehouse located in the small-scale industrial complex in East Jakarta," Agus said.

After collecting enough evidence, the officers raided the warehouse at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, he said.

"From the suspect, the police confiscated thousands of pairs of jeans and other raw materials, including half-made jeans, 25 sewing machines, some label-making machines and thousands of false carton labels," he said.

Agus said the 42-year-old suspect falsified the jeans by sewing fake Lea labels inside and outside the pants.

As shown at the police station, the false labels are similar to the original ones.

"However, a fake pair does not have a serial number on the aluminum zipper tabs. Also, if consumers check the jeans, the material is of poor quality," Agus said, adding that the suspect, a resident of Rawa Lumbu in Bekasi, obtained the denim from Tanah Abang market.

He said the suspect began producing the fake jeans in August, with the help of 15 employees.

"The jeans sold for Rp 30,000 (US$3) each. That is far cheaper than the original price, which is between Rp 117,000 and Rp 200,000 a pair," he said.

The officer said the suspect sold the pants to several garment stalls at Tanah Abang market as well as street vendors at the market.

He said the suspect would be charged with Article 84 of the Criminal Code for manufacturing the jeans without the knowledge or consent of the owner of the Lea brand.

The Article carries a maximum sentence of seven years in jail and a fine of Rp 100 million. (asa)