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 R134a refrigerant cylinders with incorrect spelling and markings, indicating a counterfeit product. Tests on the contents of the cylinders showed the contents to comprise more than 90% R12.
With the assistance of US Homeland Security officials, local police raided the T A Fresco warehouse and seized 511 counterfeit cylinders, falsely labeled as DuPont Suva 134a.
At the end of last year DuPont negotiated a settlement 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. The negotiation also revealed the supplier to be a Chinese company which is now the target of a separate legal investigation.
“This case was not only a blatant counterfeit situation but also involved the illegal smuggling of ODS, violating the Montreal Protocol,” emphasised Elizabeth M Sassano, global brand protection manager, DuPont Refrigerants.