Counterfeit Lube Operation Busted in Moscow


Russian police raided a facility in southern Moscow that allegedly was producing counterfeit motor oils, according to the citys ministry of internal affairs.

The police discovered a counterfeited motor oil of a popular brand, the ministry said in a news release yesterday, after the raid. In the facility we found 15 filled 208-liter canisters with labels of an international motor oil brand and 146 more labeled empty barrels, canisters and bulk containers of various sizes. The brand was not disclosed, and a video at the ministrys website of the containers blurred out the labels.

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The products have been sold in Moscow and the Moscow Oblast, according to the ministry. Moscow police said the visual appearance of the seized motor oils differs drastically from their original counterparts.

The police arrested three suspected organizers of the operation and opened criminal charges against them.

Last December, Russian police raided a massive counterfeit motor oil business in Moscow that also sold fake products in containers designed to look like legitimate, popular motor oil brands. In that case, organizers set up engine oil production on an industrial scale in the Russian capital, and over an extended period of time, developed it into a multi-billion rubles business, selling its counterfeit products all around the country.

The Russian interior ministrys department for economic crimes and corruption said preliminary estimates showed an annual turnover of around 12 billion rubles (U.S. $170 million). That bust followed similar raids of smaller operations in Novosibirsk and Irkutsk.

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