Football Association of Malawi (FAM), with the help of police, has uncovered a Flames counterfeit jerseys syndicate involving Chinese traders in Malawi.
The jerseys are printed in China, but sold here in Malawi, according to a court confession by one of the traders.
Following a tip-off, police, accompanied by FAM treasurer Pyson Likagwa on Monday, January 7 arrested Chinese trader Haung Hong Gin (44) in connection with the syndicate.
During the arrest, police confiscated 967 Flames counterfeited jerseys worth K8.2 million (about $25 000), according to police prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Damein Philip Kaputa.
Haung pleaded guilty to charges of making false representation of a trade mark as registered contrary to Section 69 (1) (d) of the trade Mark Act when he appeared before magistrate Sra Beza in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
He also pleaded guilty to using FAM logo without authorisation. He has since been denied bail.
In mitigation, the Chinese national said he decided to sell the jerseys to give Malawians a chance to wear them at a cheaper prize.
“I did this for the love of Malawians as most of them cannot afford a jersey at K5 000 [about $14]. I did not know that I was doing anything wrong. I sent a photo of the original jersey to China and they multiplied it and shipped them here,” said Haung.
The case has been adjourned to January 17.