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Electric bicycle fraud surging, merchant inspections reveal

Update: May, 07/2013 - 10:11
A customer tests a battery-powered bicycle at a shop in Ha Noi. Inspectors investigating 20 shops last Friday found that 148 electric bicycles were suspiciously labelled as being produced by popular companies, such as Giant, Honda, Yamaha and Bridgestone. – VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA NOI (VNS)— Market watch officials in the capital have, for the first time, uncovered widespread fraud committed by businesses selling battery-powered bicycles.

Inspectors investigating 20 shops last Friday found that 148 electric bicycles were suspiciously labelled as being produced by popular companies, such as Giant, Honda, Yamaha and Bridgestone. These companies' products are protected under Viet Nam's intellectual property laws.

The findings were released yesterday in a report published by the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Market Watch Department.

The shops in question are located on the streets of Ba Trieu, Hue and Ton Duc Thang.

As well as mislabelling their battery-powered bicycles, the shop owners are accused of failing to show adequate documentation proving the origin of their products. Some have also been found to be selling their bicycles at vastly inflated prices.

The report revealed that some products were being sold at VND10-12 million (US$478-573), while the shop owners had imported them at only VND2-3 million ($95-143) each.

Such a price gap meant that unscrupulous businesses could be making billions of dong from the bicycles, the report said.

Deputy head of the department Vuong Tri Dung told Kinh te do thi newspaper that authorised companies would be asked to verify the origin and genuineness of suspiciously labelled bicycles.

If the bicycles are found to be fakes, the shop owners will receive a fine at least two times higher than their value, Dung confirmed, adding that businesses would also be punished if the origins could not be established.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Le Duong Quang ordered market watch teams to be more thorough in their work. — VNS


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