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Man charged in fake airbag investigation

The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) yesterday (Thursday 16 February 2017) charged a man in connection with the sale of fake car airbags.

Robert Czernik, aged 35, of Blackbird Close, Poole, Dorset was charged with selling goods likely to be mistaken for a registered trade mark (Trade Marks Act).

He is due to appear on bail at City of London Magistrates Court on the 16th March.

In January 2016 an investigation was launched by PIPCU following a referral from Honda Motor Europe who identified that counterfeit airbags were being sold on eBay.

On the 18 February 2016 PIPCU arrested a man in Blandford Forum, Dorset and a property in Blackbird Close, Poole was searched where items were seized, including fake airbags from several car manufacturers.

Detectives investigating identified 680 people believed to have made purchases from an individual selling counterfeit and dangerous airbags and airbag covers on eBay.

The 680 people have been contacted and advised to contact their car manufacture to ensure their airbag is safe. PIPCU have also contacted eBay to remove the seller’s account from their site.    

Detailed factory analysis of the airbags was immediately commenced at Honda’s UK headquarters in liaison with PIPCU. It was confirmed that the airbags were counterfeit and that they would not deploy as a genuine airbag would on collision, presenting a clear danger to the public.

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is a specialist national police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime.

The operationally independent unit was launched in September 2013 with funding from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The unit is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud.