WILMINGTON, Del. — DuPont Refrigerants announced a successful settlement with T.A. Fresco regarding a case involving the packaging and sale of counterfeit illegal DuPont Suva 134a.
In 2012, DuPont initiated an investigation into T.A. Fresco, a company in the Philippines, which was supplying refrigerants to a service provider in the shipping industry. An undercover purchase was conducted by DuPont, which revealed that T.A. Fresco was selling R-134a refrigerant cylinders with incorrect spellings and markings, indicating counterfeit product. Upon further testing of the contents of the cylinders, the product was determined to be made up of more than 90 percent R-12 refrigerant. With the assistance of U.S. Homeland Security officials, local police raided the T.A. Fresco warehouse and seized 511 counterfeit cylinders, falsely labeled as “DuPont Suva 134a”.
In third-quarter 2013, DuPont negotiated the settlement of this case, which included a formal public apology in a Philippines national newspaper, full compensation for the destruction of the counterfeit refrigerant, and monetary compensation for the illegal distribution of this product. Most importantly, the negotiation resulted in disclosure of the source of supply. A separate legal investigation has been opened on the named company in China.
“This case was not only a blatant counterfeit situation but also involved the illegal smuggling of ODS [ozone depleting substances], violating the Montreal Protocol,” said Elizabeth M. Sassano, global brand protection manager, DuPont Refrigerants. “DuPont takes protection of its brands, safety, and compliance with environmental international treaties very seriously. We will continue to pursue and prosecute such cases to the fullest extent of the law.”
Publication date: 3/3/2014