Man held for selling fake Caterpillar excavators to foreigner

A man who pocketed US$200,000 by selling poor imitations of Caterpillar excavators to a foreigner has been detained.

A man has been detained for selling replica Caterpillar excavators to a foreigner in Belize, Shanghai police said yesterday.

The suspect, surnamed Yang, reportedly sold three knockoffs of the US company for US$200,000. The heavy construction equipment were modified from second-hand Chinese products.

The excavators were sold in July last year through an international trading firm registered by Yang’s brother in Minhang District. The foreign buyer discovered the fraud only after receiving the equipment.

Investigations were launched after the foreign buyer engaged a lawyer to handle the case.

Minhang police said it was not the first time that knockoff excavators were found being made in the district and sold to foreign countries. Buyers from India, Pakistan, Middle East and Central American countries were among those duped, police said.

Foreigners were first invited to travel to Shanghai and check the excavators. After the orders were placed, they would put in a deposit money and the rest was paid on receiving the products.

The excavators were poor imitations of the original and were fitted with Chinese motors which could not lift heavy objects, police said.

This was one of the cases in a two-month campaign by Shanghai police to crack down on intellectual property infringement. Over 200 suspects were caught in about 100 cases in deals worth 253 million yuan (US$40 million).

Police in Qingpu District caught six suspects who produced and sold fake sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG) of famous brands.

In December, police discovered about 7,000kg of fake sugar and 400kg of MSG. The originals are worth over 550,000 yuan. It is estimated that a few hundred tons of the fake products had been sold since June last year.

The gang would purchase low-standard sugar and MSG from farm produce markets in Shanghai and Jiangsu Province. The filtered fake products were then sold to wholesale markets and small restaurants.

In Fengxian District, eight suspects were held for producing fake 3M masks of very poor quality that were sold on