FROM CX: Counterfeit JBL Ring Melbourne firm under investigation

Thanks to a Facebook page “Knock Off Entertainment Gear Australia Alerts” and some dedicated people in the industry it seems that action is being taken against counterfeit gear and their suppliers in Australia. Julius at the CX Network has allowed people to share the following story. May this be the start of more to come. Too many people are being conned through buying on eBay or gumtree what they believe are genuine products. We all need to be alert when buying gear.

The Darebin Crime Investigation Unit are investigating a Preston based company accused of selling counterfeit JBL SRX and VRX products. JBL Manufacturer Harman International of Stamford Connecticut hired a trade mark investigator recently after Jands, the authorised JBL agent in Australia, detected fake products in the market.

Jands received complaints from users who had purchased the goods from various entities that seem to be one organised gang, led by a Kosta Sivov. The entities used include Hoblos Pty Ltd and Proline Productions. Hoblos is now under external administration, with a long list of goods under finance now subject to resale.

Amongst the goods listed as belonging to Proline, which include various vehicles, are a number of ‘JBL’ VRX932LA , VRX918S, SRX725, and SRX712M. The serial numbers listed are not genuine JBL numbers. The lease company Pepper Australia Pty Ltd have not responded to CX by presstime, so it is not known where these goods are. Seized goods are usually sold off. A list of serial numbers is on the Knock Off Entertainment Gear Australia FaceBook Group.

Various other parties are named in association with the sold and shipped fake JBL, but it not yet clear whether they were duped or are part of the gang.

Proline Productions directors were Vasco Jovanovski (aged 47) from Preston, and Elizabetha Nedanoska-Josifovska (aged 43) from Thomastown. It is not known whether they had knowledge of the company’s activities, and CX does not suggest they have done anything illegal.

CX spoke to two victims who purchased fake JBL from Kosta Sivov or from companies related or tied to him.

Kosta Sivov

Corey Boyd of the Hunter Valley region of NSW purchased a pair of SRX725 along with SRX728S subs.

“They cost $6000 delivered”, Corey told CX. Alarm bells rang when he picked them up from the transport co.

“I thought, gee these are heavy for JBLs, and when I looked closer, I saw the handles were ordinary. I took the Speakon plate off and saw no name speakers with big heavy drivers not Neodymium. The subs were over 100kg each.”

Corey wasn’t stupid, he flew to meet Kosta Sivov at ProLine Productoons, and went into the store to have a look at the speakers first. “I did ask if they were fakes, he said no way. Alarm bells were ringing but I ignored them. There were fake Nexo PS10’s in that store.”

Justin Myers of Toowoomba QLD purchased 6 x SRX712M and as soon as they arrived he smelled a rat. He will not use them, like Corey he does not want to misrepresent JBL on his professional gigs.

“I took one of the pole mounts out and realized I’d been had. I’d wasted $5,000.
They’re not real good, I haven’t used them on a job. They’re not even the same – it’s like there’s two different batches of knock offs, the wedge angles are slightly different”.

Other known fakes include SRX728S and VRX932LA. Some counterfeit EON products have been seized, but these are not known to be connected to Kosta Sivov.

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