Historic case won against valve counterfeiters

A Chinese Court handed down criminal sentences and monetary fines of unprecedented severity against two companies and their managers for counterfeiting HOPKINSONS valves, which are manufactured and sold worldwide by The Weir Group PLC.
Since 2006, two companies made and sold defective and counterfeit HOPKINSONS branded valves which quickly failed in service at Chinese power stations, causing serious injuries and damage. The counterfeiters were arrested by China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) in late 2009 following in-depth investigations, and placed in custody. Weir, along with customers and partners, provided information which assisted in the investigations and in the prosecution of the counterfeiters.
The case, tried in the Yangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangsu, proved that these valve products were counterfeit, failed to comply with compulsory national standards and were of poor quality. In addition, the defendants misrepresented their manufacturing location by telling customers that they were imported from the UK. The total sales generated from this illegal business operation exceeded GBP 1million.
The first company, Yangzhou Yikai Machinery and Engineering Co. Ltd. (“Yikai”), was found guilty of making and selling substandard goods and engaging in illegal business, and has been ordered to pay a fine of GBP 666,000. Yikai’s manager has been found guilty of the same crimes, sentenced to 15 years 6 months imprisonment and ordered to pay GBP 124,000.
The second company, Shanghai Saimeng Mechatronic Engineering Co. Ltd. (“Saimeng”), has been found guilty of similar crimes and ordered to pay a fine of GBP 48,000. Saimeng’s manager has been found guilty of the crimes of manufacturing and selling substandard goods, engaging in illegal business and counterfeiting trademarks. He has been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment and ordered to pay GBP 129,000.
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