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Saudi Citizen Selling Fake Cisco Gear Sentenced

The counterfeit networking hardware was intended for U.S. Marines in Iraq.
A citizen of Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 51 months in prison on Thursday and ordered to pay $119,400 in restitution to Cisco Systems for trafficking in counterfeit Cisco computer equipment.

Ehab Ashoor, 49, a resident of Sugarland, Texas, was found guilty in January of buying counterfeit Cisco Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs) from an online vendor in China.

According to the FBI, evidence presented at the trial indicates that Ashoor intended to sell the counterfeit gear to the Department of Defense for use by the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq.

"Trafficking in counterfeit computer components is a problem that spans the globe and impacts most, if not all, major network equipment manufacturers," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer, in a statement. "As this operation demonstrates, sustained cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector is often a critical factor in disrupting and dismantling criminal organizations that threaten our economy and endanger public safety."

Ashoor's conviction is one of 30 felony convictions and over 700 seizures of counterfeit Cisco network equipment and labels arising from Operation Network Raider, an ongoing domestic and international law enforcement effort to target the illegal distribution of counterfeit network hardware made in China.

As of February 2008, Operation Network Raider had resulted in over 400 equipment seizures.

The FBI, ICE and CBP, in conjunction with various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and other government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, have participated in Operation Network Raider. In the years that the operation has been active, ICE and CBP have seized counterfeit Cisco products and labels worth over $86 million.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department in November, 2009, nearly 46% of original component manufacturing companies surveyed and 55% of microcircuit manufacturers said they had encountered counterfeit versions of their products.

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