By James Wells
SYDNEY: NEC Australia has managed to avoid an organised crime ring which has used operatives in Japan, China and Taiwan to convince several factories to manufacture fradulent products.
According to a report published in the International Herald Tribune, the criminals duplicated real versions of NEC products which the company later admitted to being “of generally good quality”. The pirates also produced their own range of 50 NEC-branded products which were developed by using research and development from imposters claiming to be executives from the company.
The fraudulent products were reportedly home theatre components, mp3 players and PC peripherals which were supplied with forged instruction manuals and warranty documents.
According to NEC Home Electronics general manager – sales and marketing, Charles Carter, there have been no reports of pirated products in Australia.
”There has been no impact to the Australian business at all,” he said.
“We haven’t had a single report of any ‘dodgy’ NEC products so it appears that no ‘agent’ has tried to sell the product in the Australian market.
"There was a company a couple of years ago that was trying to sell NEC branded product into the market and approached a couple of our retail partners. At the time we assumed he sourced the product via Asia – we sent a legal letter and it all ceased. This could have been part of this latest scam in its early days, but we will never know,” Carter said.
The criminal ring, which has allegedly been operating since 2004, was broken recently with number of arrests following a investigation by authorities into the offending factories.
NEC Australia national marketing manager, Don Paton, said the company believes the act of piracy is immoral and a crime and does not condone it in any manner.
"NEC prides itself on the quality and excellence of its products and will in no way compromise its reputation or standards. Our products have always and will continue to carry comprehensive warranties. These warranties are designed to act as insurance for the consumer should the product be faulty. NEC stands by its warranties,” Paton said.
“Pirated NEC products on the market do not carry any warranty and NEC is not bound to and will not honour the pirated products because it has not made them. NEC in Australia sells its products through selected channel partners. These partners, who are highly reputable, have been instructed to and would at all times draw our attention to any nefarious operators who attempt to profit by selling their pirated ‘NEC’ products,” Paton said.
“Our dealers have always proven to be loyal to the NEC brand and have shown a clear and strong commitment to protecting the brand and the reputation of the company. Their loyalty demonstrates a strong business bond and relationship that has been forged over many years of working together. To date, there have been no reports of any attempts to distribute in Australia, pirate NEC products."