PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Dec 4, 2012) - The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (Golf Group) today announced the completion of a successful law enforcement initiative, called a clustering campaign, which resulted in the seizure of nearly 500,000 counterfeit golf products and the arrest of more than 30 suspects by the Public Security Bureau of China. In total, the campaign spanned 6 months and involved raids on 14 different locations. The campaign revealed an elaborate counterfeiting network that operated throughout the country with locations in Xiamen, Shanghai, Dongguan and Beijing.
"Just by sheer numbers this has been one of the most successful efforts in the fight against counterfeit clubs," said Brian Lynch, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Callaway. "But this isn't just about the numbers. This wasn't a one-time raid. This was an entire counterfeit network that has been completely dismantled."
The clustering campaign began in February when Chinese authorities raided one target in Shanghai, which was later linked to 4 other targets also in Shanghai. All of these targets shared the same suppliers in Xiamen and Dongguan. An additional eight raids of the suppliers took place in July and August in Beijing, Dongguan and Xiamen. The targets included both storefronts and manufacturing and distribution facilities. Ultimately, the campaign uncovered four different gangs that were operating within a single network. More than 30 suspects were arrested during the raids, three of them have been sentenced to jail terms of 1 to 3 years by a Shanghai court and others are still being prosecuted.
"This clustering campaign shows counterfeiters we're not just going after storefronts," said Don Reino, Vice President of Legal Operations for Cleveland Golf. "We're going after every level of these organizations and truly making an impact."
More information about counterfeit golf clubs and products can be found at www.keepgolfreal.com.
About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group
The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of five of the most well-known golf companies in the world -- Callaway-Odyssey; TaylorMadeadidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron. Since 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has worked with international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. In 2011 alone, the group's efforts led to the seizure of more than 80,000 counterfeit golf products.