It’s summer and things are getting hot for the sellers of fake designer goods.
A couple of weeks ago, the online auction site ebay was fined £31 million ($62 million) by a French commercial court for not doing enough to prevent counterfeit Louis Vuitton and other products from being traded.
Now I hear the police in Rome have raided a warehouse and seized nearly 70,000 fake designer bags, jewellery, cell phone cases and other accessories. They were destined for the city’s illegal street vendors – mostly immigrants – who spread their wares out on blankets in an effort to attract the tourist trade. Two Chinese citizens have been arrested on suspicion of fraud.
At a rough estimate, the market for counterfeit designer goods in Italy is £3.2 billion ($6.4 billion). But the Italians are determined to do everything they can to protect their fashion sector and by law, anyone caught buying fakes is liable to be fined up to 10,000 Euros (£8,000/$15,000).
by Andy Moreton