Spain Takes Down Counterfeit Clothing Manufacturing Ring
Spanish authorities have busted a counterfeiting ring that was producing knock off clothing in a quantity valued at nearly US$19 million, Spain’s Guardia Civil announced on Thursday.
“Two types of counterfeiting have been detected, one of high quality from Portugal and ready for immediate sale and another for which they use 'neutral' bases from China to which they add labeling, logos, and distinctive signs of renowned brands,” the statement said.
Dubbed FRONTCOPY, the operation conducted by Portugese and Spanish law enforcement was coordinated by Europol.
“For example, they were embossing metal labels on non-branded belts and bags. All these items were then sold as genuine in different shops in the area,” Europol explained.
According to a 2019 OECD report, the trade in counterfeit goods is a $500 billion dollar industry, accounting for 3.3% of all global trade.
Over the course of the operation, the Spanish authorities arrested eight suspects, raided 13 premises and seized some 60,000 garments.
Their illicit products were sold in at least 20 shops.