Apple will express its gratitude to a Korean police department after it seized nearly a million dollars worth of counterfeit accessories.
Donald Shruhan, Apple’s senior regional director for Asia-Pacific operations, will personally visit the Bucheon Sosa police station on Friday to present a plaque to officers involved in the counterfeit accessory crackdown, according to The Korea Herald.
Local investigators and officers in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province recently confiscated the counterfeit Apple accessories — worth about $892,000 — and arrested local distributors who planned on selling the goods.
Police believe that the fake Apple products were imported from China. Investigators are still to figure out how the goods entered the country.
The distributors, who are reportedly in custody, are under investigation on suspicion of fraud and trademark violation.
While on its own, the story is simply one of a token of thanks, it’s actually part of a larger Apple anti-counterfeiting operation in the region. Those operations are currently being led by Shruhan.
Counterfeited Apple products make up a highly lucrative market for criminals.
Back in February 2018, a Chinese national living in the U.S. pleaded guilty to conspiracy and counterfeit product trafficking — schemes that netted him about $1.1 million.
And in August 2017, authorities in London raided a warehouse after a six-month investigation. They found a supply of counterfeited Apple products worth about $1.69 million.
Fake Apple products are a problem for both the Cupertino tech giant and for consumers — who may inadvertently purchase the counterfeits, or willingly buy them because of their low price.
But counterfeited Apple products can be really dangerous. A study by Electrical Safety First found that 98 percent of fake Apple goods found on online marketplaces failed basic safety tests and put users at risk of fatal electronic shock or fire.
It’s not just charging accessories that are being faked, either. In China, where iPhone repair fraud is a growing problem, there have been numerous reports of fake iPhone batteries catching fire or exploding after being installed by third-party repair vendors.
On the other hand, this may not be the case forever. Apple may be mulling a switch to the USB-C standard for its iPhones — a charging specification with security mechanisms that could stop an iPhone from charging when it detects a fake cable.