The Daily Tribune (Philippines) 4th may 2006

NBI seizes P37-M fake NBA products in Tondo raid.

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) scored a “GrandSlam” after confiscating at least P37 million worth of fake National Basketball Association (NBA) products during a recent raid in Tondo.

NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD) chief Jose Justo Yap yesterday said NBI operatives seized a virtual “mother lode” of counterfeit “NBA” sportswear, including sewing machines used in manufacturing the
bogus products.

“We Filipinos are basketball-crazy people and the NBA is very popular here, especially now that the playoffs are taking place. The suspects plan to make a lot of money off that NBA craze,” Yap said.

He added one of the raided shops was the “No Rules Sportswear” owned by Perry and Willie Koa, at Stall PLCS-25, 2nd Floor, Prime Block, TutubanCenter, C. M. Recto Avenue, Tondo, Manila.

A second raided establishment was the Henson Garment Manufacturing Corp., also owned by Perry, Raquel and Willie Koa, located on the 2nd Floor, 959-A Ilaya St., Tondo. The third was CDM Printing also owned by Perry and Willie Koa on 2nd Floor, 1006 Albuquerque St., Tondo.

The Koas now face charges of trademark infringement following the NBI raids where NBI agents seize some 12,581 NBA Properties Inc. products and five sewing machines.

NBA items such as replica jerseys and jackets of players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’ Neal sell like hotcakes at department stores in Metro Manila, Yap noted.

But prior to the raids, Yap disclosed the NBI agents placed the establishments under surveillance operations and conducted test buys to confirm the evidence gathered through market research firm Orion Support Inc. (OSI).

After OSI and NBI simultaneously confirmed the illegal activities through surveillance, the NBI obtained the corresponding search warrants from Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 24 Judge Antonio Eugenio Jr.

The NBI conducted the raids after Ortega Del Castillo, Bacorro, Odulio, Calma and Carbonell Law Offices, representing NBA Properties Inc., filed complaints that the three establishments were “continuously engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit products bearing NBA trademarks.”

Article written by:

Jun P. Yap

The Daily Tribune (Philippines)