A smuggler in his 30s who smuggled in a large number of Chinese-made ‘fake’ golf clubs that stole high-end brands and sold them as genuine has been caught by customs.Incheon Headquarters Customs announced on the 6th that it detained Mr. A (39) on suspicion of violating customs laws and trademark laws and sent him to prosecutors.Mr. A is suspected of smuggling 764 sets of Chinese-made counterfeit golf clubs (with a total market value of 1.79 billion won) into the country for two years from August 2021 and then selling them under the guise of genuine products.He purchased the counterfeit golf clubs at 20 to 25 percent of the original price (50 to 100 million won per set) from a large Chinese online shopping mall and smuggled them through Incheon Port more than 200 times.

He then sold them at 50 to 65 percent of the original price (130 to 180 million won per set) on a popular second-hand trading platform and his company’s website, earning more than 300 million won in ill-gotten gains.The counterfeit golf clubs caught this time were found to be specific models of famous brands such as Honma, Marumang, TaylorMade, and Daiwa, which were favored by novice golfers during the “golf boom” in Korea due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Mr. A posted on a second-hand trading platform that he would “deliver the genuine product with a warranty” to lure beginner golfers who wanted to purchase high-end, high-performance golf clubs.The investigation revealed that when smuggling the golf clubs, Mr. Lee used the “list clearance” method to avoid formal import declarations by claiming that the clubs were for his own use for less than US$150.He disguised the golf clubs as hiking poles or stainless steel pipes, and used the personalized customs clearance codes of his family and friends to avoid customs inspection.

Customs, however, believed that counterfeit goods were likely to be imported from China via direct mail, so they stepped up their monitoring and uncovered Mr. A’s smuggling scheme.The Sports Industry Technology Center, an expert organization, tested the fake golf clubs with a swing robot and found that the ball launch angle was only 73% of the original and the distance was about 10 meters shorter.Golf YouTuber Jung Myung-hoon tried the fake golf clubs at the request of Customs and said, “The head balance and shaft elasticity were different from the original, and the swing rhythm was ruined, causing me to feel sick.” “For the sake of improving your golf skills and health, you should not use low-quality counterfeit golf clubs,” he said.An official from Incheon Customs said, “Recently, smuggling of counterfeit goods through sea express cargo at Incheon Port has continued, so we are planning to establish a dense enforcement network.” He added, “Famous trademark 무료슬롯게임 products sold at low prices are likely to be counterfeit, so you need to be extra careful.”

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