China, UAE bust luxury goods counterfeiters

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/18 21:28:39

Counterfeit luxury goods are displayed by customs and police officers following a record seizure at customs headquarters in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

More than 28,000 fake luxury items, including clothing and handbags worth 1.8 billion yuan ($257 million) and destined for sale in Dubai were seized by police from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Fifty-seven suspects were arrested, 37 of them in China. UAE police also raided 10 locations in Dubai and seized 21,000 fake luxury items, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday. 

Some of those arrested in Dubai were selling the fakes at a world-class business hub, reported Xinhua, adding that the fakes were brought to UAE by using "falsified customs declarations" or in shipments from China containing both real and fake items. 

Police found more than 7,000 counterfeit luxury handbags, such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel. They said the clothes were manufactured at a private factory in South China's Guangdong Province. 

Police in Shanghai started investigating the case in May and then contacted police in Dubai.

The alleged boss of a factory that manufactured fake Louis Vuitton handbags, surnamed Zhan, hired 20 skilled people to make the counterfeits by hand. Certificates, invoices, receipts, and gift wrapping were produced in the factory, which even made its own limited edition counterfeits, police said. 

"The workers were paid in cash, and each had their own task to complete," Dai Li, a police officer at the Shanghai public security bureau, told Xinhua.  

"I was astonished when I was told the handbag can be sold for  several thousand  yuan overseas, as we could only get 100 yuan ($14.26) to 200 yuan per handbag," said a fake LV handbag maker. 

Wang Qian, an intellectual property professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, said that counterfeiting is a global concern, which harms normal business and commits a crime.

Transnational cooperation is especially important as many criminal groups often split the production and sales in the two countries. China's customs should strengthen supervision as they are entitled to spot check the goods and seize counterfeits, Wang noted. 

On July 25, China's Ministry of Public Security launched an operation against counterfeits. A total of 2,668 cases were uncovered, and 6,197 suspects have been arrested over the past few months. 

The amount involved was close to 7 billion yuan, Xinhua said. 


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