Russian police this week broke up an alleged a counterfeit motor oil distribution ring accused of defrauding oil companies of more than U.S. $200,000 in the Orsk region.
Police raided a warehouse in Orsk, a Russian city in southern Siberia near the Kazakhstan border, where a group of three people allegedly manually poured low-quality motor oil into canisters emblazoned with the brand names of SK Lubricants, Castrol, Motul and Shell.
The police confiscated over 4,000 motor oil canisters and said the accused individuals started their counterfeiting business at the end of 2017.
We estimate a total financial loss from unlawfully selling counterfeited products of protected trademarks of about 11.5 million rubles [U.S. $202,000], an Orsk prosecutor said in a news release on Monday. They were selling these low quality products at prices lower than the market prices of the original counterparts.
The defendants, charged with unlawful use of protected brand names, face up to six years in prison and fines of 500,000 rubles.