Police in Ndirande have arrested three people who were packaging water in bottles bearing an existing company’s trademarks.
Consumers complained that the water, labelled as purified still water, had a bad taste and also contained foreign substances inside.
Ndirande Police Station Deputy Public Relations Officer Maxwell Jailos has identified the suspects as Dickinson Mike 23, Timothy Benson, 41 and Khumbo, 32.
The three were arrested following a complaint which was lodged by the Manager of a certain company which produces purified still water in Blantyre that some unscrupulous traders were selling products that resemble theirs.
Investigations by detectives led to the arrest of Dickson Mike who was found with counterfeit bottled water seals and caps bearing the company’s trademarks.
The revelation came about on January 29, 2022, when Sam Memena, a Ndirande based businessman was supplied with 35 cases of purified still water by Dickson Mike, which when customers consumed had a bad taste and also contained foreign properties inside.
In course of investigations, Malawi Bureau of Standard officials were involved and upon conducting their tests, they confirmed that the products were indeed counterfeit.
A search at the suspect’s house in Mbayani exposed 250 empty bottles and 500 bottle caps with the original company’s labels.
After being interrogated, the suspect revealed that the syndicate also involved two employees from the concerned company.
The two have been identified as Khumbo and Timothy Benson who works as Supervisor and Driver respectively. They used to steal the mentioned production materials from the concerned company factory and sell them to the first suspect to be used in the fraudulent purified still water production.
All three suspects will appear before court soon to answer charges of Sale of Noxious food or drink contrary to section 194 and Counterfeiting Trademarks section 388 of the penal code.
Khumbo 32, hails from Kandulu village in the area of Traditional Authority Chikumbu in Mulanje District while Timothy Benson 41, comes from Mkoka village, Traditional Authority Nsomba in Blantyre District.