The Intermediate Court has fixed December 17 to hand down a sentence to a company, whose director had pleaded guilty to a charge of trading fake HP printer ink toner products.
On Wednesday, parties argued on what should be a fitting sentence for the court to take into account.
Defence Counsel Pengiran Shahyzul bin Pengiran Abdul Rahman contended the prosecution’s aggravating points for Tradetech Sdn Bhd’s minimal role in supplying government ministries and departments, as well as a medical centre with the fake HP printer toners in 2017 and 2018.
The lawyer pressed that these organisations knew that the products were not genuine on the receiving end.
On the issue of a fine to commensurate the offence, Prosecutor Shamsuddin Haji Kamaluddin urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence, by ordering the defendant company to settle at least BND75,000, in the name of protecting intellectual property rights.
The defence party argued that among other things that do not tantamount to aggravating factors, a fine that is equivalent to the price of items involved in the charge ought to be enough.
“Being convicted is punishment enough to my client as there are repercussions from the news report on the case which was made public,” the lawyer added.
On the matter of delay, the prosecution reiterated that further investigations needed to be done at the outset of the case, while the defence counsel maintained its position that the delays could have been avoided.
Police were prompted by an HP official distributor who then found Tradetech in possession of 215 toner cartridges at the business premises in Taman Tasek, Jalan Berakas on July 28, 2018.
Further probes and expert findings confirmed that the items were not genuine HP products, but had been repackaged using boxes with security seals, implying authenticity.
The case first came up in court in 2020, where the company and its Managing Director Abdul Majeed Abdul Wahab denied the seven charges levelled against them in the Intermediate Court.
They were allegedly selling fake HP printer toners at their premises in Taman Tasek, Jalan Berakas on July 28, 2018. Meanwhile, Abdul Majeed was purported to have supplied, raking in about BND90,000 in revenue.
In October, the company entered a guilty plea to the single charge and all the other charges, involving any allegations against Abdul Majeed, were withdrawn, amounting to acquittal.
Judge Harnita Zelda Skinner is considering a fitting punishment in the meantime, after hearing submissions from both parties.