Benalmadena businesses are done with illegal street vendors

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street vendors

With the summer season approaching, Benalmádena’s traders and entrepreneurs are preparing for a new period of hustle and bustle. However, an old problem is emerging again, namely illegal street vendors. These are popularly known in Spanish as ‘manteros’ or ‘top mantas’.

The illegal sellers owe these names to the fact that they display their – often counterfeit – products on large rugs. As soon as one of those on guard sees the police, they quickly fold their cloths with the merchandise inside and sprint off. They then return as soon as the danger has passed. However, entrepreneurs in Benalmadena (Malaga) are done with this unfair competition. The Asociación de Comerciantes y Empresarios de Benalmádena (ACEB) estimates that this form of trade costs their companies between 20% and 30% in revenue every year. The loss of income due to illegal street vendors mainly affects entrepreneurs on the coast around the Puerto Marina marina.

Entrepreneurs are demanding stricter measures

In an attempt to tackle this long-standing problem, they are calling for stricter measures. Rosa María González, president of the ACEB, emphasises the need for “control measures”. These must go further than the police chasing street vendors on the beach boulevard, after which the ‘manteros’ simply return and display their stuff again. “We don’t want these situations to arise. While police presence is important, we cannot solve the problem this way. We need deterrent measures,” González said.

Fines for those who buy from ‘manteros’

One of the proposed measures is to impose administrative sanctions on buyers from illegal street vendors. This doesn’t just include the vendors who display their offerings on rugs. Also those who offer massages on the beach or sell products along the beach. “Illegal street vending is a crime. Not only the sellers who run away when they see the police are involved. The buyers also contribute to this crime,” says González.

Cogesa Expats

Meeting with mayor

During a recent meeting with the mayor of Benalmadena, Juan Antonio Lara, among others, entrepreneurs urged the municipality to amend the regulation on street trading. This could make sanctions possible for buyers. “It seems that the municipal government is willing to cooperate and finds it feasible,” González confirmed in the SUR newspaper after the meeting.

Informative campaign

The entrepreneurs plan to soon launch an information campaign aimed at both tourists and residents. The aim is to inform them about the consequences of illegal sales. They also want to make it clear what it means when tourists buy from these sellers. These include job destruction due to unfair competition, mafia collaboration, lower product quality, and more. Information leaflets are being prepared in several languages. It is planned to distribute these in hotels in the municipality.

Also read: Counterfeit goods operation dismantled with nearly 250,000 products seized

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