Police seize fake Magic Bullets, Kylie Jenner makeup among $2.5M worth of counterfeit goods
The investigation, dubbed "Project Lucky Chan" began on Dec. 2
An ongoing Toronto police investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods has led to the discovery of more than $2.5 million in evidence — and, ironically, one of the search warrants happened to be for the main floor of a Toronto hotel that was hosting an anti-counterfeiting conference.
A Mississauga man is now facing charges after the investigation led Toronto police to seize 16 trucks filled with counterfeit goods early this week.
The products included fake Magic Bullet blenders, Thomas the Tank Engine toys, and Kylie Jenner brand makeup.
Hock Chan, 46, is the owner of Lucky's Import and Wholesale located at 1607 The Queensway. He was arrested and charged after police received complaints from shoppers who purchased products from his business.
The complaints included skin irritation from makeup products and overheating of electronic products, such as the Magic Bullets.
A selection of the counterfeit merchandise: a magic bullet, crystal head vodka, beats pill, and Kylie Jenner makeup <a href="https://t.co/JRQwqcGtVl">pic.twitter.com/JRQwqcGtVl</a>—@McGillivrayKate
In a news conference Friday morning, investigators said the counterfeit products were traced back to two other businesses, Beach GLO at 1938 Queen Street East and Jazz Casuals at 5160 Yonge Street.
Police said the evidence found inside the 16 trucks seized from these three locations is worth $2.5 million. They also seized $5,500 in proceeds of crime.
Two other individuals involved in the investigation face immigration-related charges.
In total, four search warrants were executed across the city as part of the investigation.
The first was the main floor of the Toronto hotel hosting an international anti-counterfeiting conference, which police did not identify during the press conference.
Funding terrorist groups
Supt. Bryce Evans emphasized that fraud is a serious offence. "Counterfeit goods is a source of funds for terrorist groups and organised crime."
He added that the French public interest organisation Unifab identified that counterfeit goods were one source of income for the terrorists involved in the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris.
Signs to look out for
With the holiday season upon us, police are warning consumers to look out for tell tale signs that could help identify a fake product.
They say the most popular counterfeit products are handbags, purses and watches.
"Look at the packaging," said Det. Rob Whalen. "If it doesn't have any contact information, that's a dead giveaway."
They also recommend reaching out to the Canadian anti-fraud centre who will help you get your money back if you purchased with a debit or credit card.