Russia: Chanel Sweatshop Dismantled, Over 7,200 Counterfeit Shoes Recovered

Russian interior ministry officers busted an underground sweatshop where more than 100 Chinese citizens produced counterfeit Chanel shoes in deplorable conditions, JustMedia reported on Monday.

The sweatshop, allegedly operated by an Armenian crime group, was located in the Sverdlovsk region near Yekaterinburg, in central Russia. Health and safety standards as well as working conditions were all below legal standards. The factory reeked of chemicals, and chemical waste was allegedly dumped directly into a nearby river, JustMedia reported.The workers lived in an on-site barracks, and their actions and movements were watched and controlled.

During the raid on the premises, authorities recovered over 3,600 pairs of counterfeit shoes branded as Chanel footwear. Chanel has been contacted by authorities, and samples of the counterfeits have been sent for comparison and analysis, JustMedia reported. According to Chanel, the original shoes retail for around $800, meaning the counterfeits discovered during the raid alone could have cost the company as much $280,000 dollars in lost revenue.