A senior member of the Mongrel Mob says he’ll be looking at taking action after being made aware that patches, with the gang’s name and bulldog logo, were being sold online.
Life member Harry Tam says he’ll be looking at how to make contact with the sellers to get them to take the products down.
Company Five Star China are selling the products through AliExpress; a website made up of small businesses in China selling to international buyers.
“I’m not very happy about it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to sell items like that particularly when the seller has no rights to it,” says Tam.
Company Five Star China are selling the products through AliExpress. Source: AliExpress
Products currently being sold includes 45cm patches with the gang’s bulldog logo, surrounded by the words ‘Mongrel Mob Aotearoa’ for NZ$68.
So far six have been purchased from buyers in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland.
Four-piece-set patches are also being sold on the website for NZ$38, with 18 orders made from New Zealand, Denmark Australia and Germany.
Tam says those who have purchased the items are not entitled to wear them “and there’s certainly no mana behind the patches.”
“I’m sure there would become people who would take extreme exception to it because it is a form of theft in terms of intellectual property rights.”
Tam says he isn’t aware of whether not the design is copyrighted to the Mongrel Mob.
“I haven’t had the chance to follow up on that yet but it’s something that we’ll certainly be looking at,” he says.
Four-piece-set patches are also being sold on AliExpress for NZ$48. Source: AliExpress
Tam recommends buyers to return the items. “All I can say to them is don’t wear it. If you own one send it back to them to ask for your money back. It’s probably not a good idea to be seen with it, with something that doesn’t belong to them.”
Police are also urging people to consider the potential risks of wearing the patches and being perceived as associating with a gang.
“Police constantly monitor the gang situation in New Zealand, and while it is not illegal to wear, buy or sell gang insignia, police would remind those who choose to wear it of their obligations under the relevant legislation and bylaws,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.
This includes a bylaw in Whanganui prohibiting gang insignia in specified areas within the district.
Te Kāea has tried to make contact with the suppliers under the Alibaba Group but is yet to receive a response.