Winnetka: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU), announce the arrest of an ex-convict in the San Fernando Valley for selling counterfeit Rolex watches to an undercover officer.
On January 11, 2024, around 11 a.m., 33-year-old Albert Bantug, was arrested near the 20000 block of Vanowen Street. During a search of the suspect, detectives recovered a semi-automatic loaded handgun in the suspect’s front waistband. The firearm did not have any serial numbers or traceable information. These handguns are commonly referred to as ‘Ghost Guns.”
The seized watches were examined at the scene by Rolex representatives and deemed the watches to be counterfeit, in violation of the recorded and registered trademarks. Bantug was arrested for ex-convict with a gun and trademark infringement.
Bantug was booked at Van Nuys Jail, under Booking No. 6740731, for 29800(a)1 PC – Felon in possession of a firearm, and 350(a) PC – Trademark Infringement. His bail was set at Zero Bail.
The purchase of counterfeits products may be hazardous to your health. There have been instances where counterfeit watches and jewelry contain elevated levels of lead and other dangerous metals. Manufacturers of counterfeit products are not beholden to the same rigorous materials and safety testing standards.
In order to prevent the risk of buying counterfeit, only buy from authorized dealers or directly from the manufacturer. As a consumer, you should exercise due diligence and research the name and places of your suppliers.
Anyone with information regarding counterfeit crimes are asked to contact Commercial Crimes Detectives at 213-486-6940. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P-3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.