Turkish Officials Dismantle Large Counterfeiting Workshop

Turkish Officials Dismantle Large Counterfeiting Workshop

Turkish authorities raided the premises of a large-scale counterfeiting operation in the Tekirdağ Province, neighbouring the Istanbul region (illustrative picture).

Law enforcement officials in Turkey have conducted a significant raid action on two clandestine counterfeiting workshops – seizing hundreds of thousands of items for manufacturing illegal counterfeit imaging supplies. ICCE applauds their efforts in uncovering this significant counterfeiting operation, which impacted all ICCE member brands. These law enforcement actions protect customers and authorized suppliers from the risks associated with counterfeit printer cartridges, advancing the fight against intellectual property theft, which is at the core of ICCE’s work.

Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation

An investigation by authorities in Turkey (Türkiye) has foiled a major counterfeiting operation, as the local news outlet Yeniçağ Gazetesi reports. In early November, law enforcement officials conducted a targeted raid action on two commercial premises used as covert manufacturing facilities for counterfeit imaging supplies, located in the Tekirdağ Province of European Turkey, neighbouring the Istanbul region.

During the large‑scale enforcement operation, authorities discovered and seized illegal items with an approximate market value of 70 million Turkish liras (approx. 2.2 million euros), according to the media report. This includes thousands of finished counterfeit toner cartridges, which were ready to be sold to unsuspecting customers, as well as massive quantities of packing material and other items to make more illegal counterfeit cartridges. The officials’ investigation showed that the counterfeiters had imported print cartridges from Asia, disguising them in trademark infringing packaging and passing them off as originals of well‑known imaging consumables brands, affecting all ICCE members.

Effective enforcement actions, as just demonstrated by the Turkish authorities, are essential in the fight against counterfeiting. Such decisive actions show that counterfeiting of imaging supplies is far from being a minor offence – and that protecting the public is a priority for the authorities, just as it is for us at ICCE, where we work every day to protect our valued customers from illegal counterfeits.
Andrew Gardner, Global Brand Protection Manager, Lexmark International

In addition to the finished counterfeit toner cartridges, the seizures include items such as counterfeit boxes and packaging materials, labels, user manuals, and toner powder. Officials also seized equipment used to manufacture counterfeit imaging consumables, including packaging machines and cartridge cleaning and filling equipment.

Counterfeit items found and confiscated in Turkey (video courtesy of HP)

Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation
Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation
Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation
Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation
Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation
Major blow against large-scale counterfeiting operation

Counterfeit items found and confiscated in Turkey (photos courtesy of Brother, Epson, HP, and Lexmark)

Case shows the importance of a dedicated law enforcement team

ICCE sincerely congratulates the Turkish authorities on their remarkable success, which directly contributes to the fight against counterfeiting of printing supplies. Counterfeit imaging consumables, such as toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and printer ribbons are illegal, infringe the Intellectual Property and TM rights of the brands and can pose a significant risk for businesses and consumers. This can include damage to the printing device, leaking of toner powder, environmental impact, poor‑quality printouts, etc.

We greatly appreciate the swift action taken by Turkish authorities – they have effectively curbed the trade in counterfeit goods and prevented customers from being cheated by fraudsters. At ICCE, we share their commitment to protecting the trade in original imaging supplies. ICCE brands take various actions to combat counterfeiting, and we collaborate closely with officials to thwart this illegal business. With the clear goal of protecting our valued customers from counterfeit printing consumables, we look forward to working again with the Turkish authorities in the future.”
Alex Dodge, Intellectual Property Director, Canon Europe

ICCE’s aim is to combat the trade in illegal counterfeit imaging supplies through working together against fraudsters and collaborate with other stakeholders, such as leading online marketplaces as well as law enforcement officials in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. As part of this, ICCE and our members support local authorities, such as police and customs, with in‑depth intelligence, assistance during enforcement actions, and dedicated training opportunities. Last year (2022), ICCE has partnered with law enforcement agencies through a series of special training sessions – and supported them to remove huge quantities of illegal products from the markets before they could be sold to unsuspecting customers. And we will continue our dedicated fight against counterfeit imaging supplies in the future – with a clear goal of protecting customers from the risks posed by counterfeit toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and printer ribbons.

About ICCE

The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (ICCE) was formed in 1997 as a direct response to the increase in counterfeit imaging consumables across the regions of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Imaging consumables include such products as toners, ink cartridges and ribbons. Initially created as an industry association with a focus on education, lobbying, information exchange, and awareness, it has since developed to include coordinating the role of receiving and processing intelligence information on counterfeiters, initiating joint industry raids and enforcement activities, and helping its members to target counterfeiters through the criminal and civil courts.

Members of the organisation include some of the world’s leading imaging and printing companies: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP Inc, Kyocera, Lexmark, Ricoh, and Xerox.