Shanghai police crack LV counterfeiting case worth of 110m yuan
Published: Sep 02, 2020 01:32 AM

Photo: Xinmin Evening News

Authorities in Shanghai say they recently busted a ring of counterfeiters who manufactured and sold fake Louis Vuitton bags worth more than 110 million yuan ($16 million). The six-month investigation led to the arrest of 62 suspects, while more than 2,000 fake LV products were confiscated. 

Two people surnamed Xu and Zheng were the alleged leaders of the gang which operated in Guangzhou, Dongguan and Foshan in South China's Guangdong Province, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Tuesday. 

In December 2019, Shanghai police noticed pirated LV bags were being sold on WeChat. "They were also selling pirated parts, and that's when we knew that this wasn't simply an agent, but a criminal gang involved in  the entire counterfeiting process," police were quoted by CCTV News as saying.  

More than 30 pieces of manufacturing equipment, 100,000 pieces of raw material and over 2,000 fake LV products were confiscated, which are estimated to be worth 110 million yuan.  

Photo: Xinmin Evening News

The suspects are accused of colluding with a Guangzhou LV store employee surnamed Shi, who provided the gang with sample products prior to their official release. 

Police say the suspects confessed the pirated bags cost only 100-200 yuan ($14.65-29.3) to produce. They were distributed by agents across the country or even sold overseas for between 400 and 700 yuan ($58.6-102.58).

The gang also inserted sensor chips inside the counterfeit bags that would allow buyers to immediately view LV's official website, persuading them the products were genuine. 

Ironically, there are no such NFC sensor chips in genuine LV bags, according to a spokesperson of Louis Vuitton, Xinhua reported. The meticulous "innovation" ended up providing consumers with the a convenient way to identify counterfeit products. 

Police said there are other ways of detecting the fake bags, which smell of formaldehyde, and the inner and outer lining doesn't fit snuggly, CCTV News reported.