Police bust counterfeit luxury goods operation

by Lorraine Williamson
counterfeit goods

 

Policia Nacional has successfully apprehended a couple in Torrevieja for their involvement in selling counterfeit luxury items through renowned auction houses. The illicit operation, aimed at high-end marroquinería (leather goods), could have inflicted a financial blow of €50,000 on affected brands. 

The arrested duo are a Ukrainian woman and an Austrian man. They meticulously imitated luxury brands’ products, successfully evading authenticity checks in some instances.

Police authorities intervened just in time. Furthermore, they prevented the auction of eight bags, a belt, and four sunglasses, meticulously crafted replicas of high-end luxury brands. These items were set to be auctioned with prices from €2,000 to €10,000, deceiving potential buyers with their realistic appearance.

Auction house

The investigation began in September 2023. At this time, a reputable auction house in Madrid raised suspicions about four bags from prestigious brands being auctioned. Discrepancies in certificates of authenticity, packaging, and sewing finishes raised red flags. This prompted the auction house to alert the Policia Nacional. After forensic analysis confirmed the items as counterfeits, authorities intensified their efforts.

Moreover, the police identified the culprits, a Ukrainian woman, and an Austrian man residing in Torrevieja. The couple strategically targeted renowned auction houses across various Spanish provinces to sell their fake luxury items at inflated prices. To enhance the deception, they even replicated the certificates of authenticity issued by the genuine brands, making it challenging for buyers to distinguish the counterfeit goods.

Search and arrest

In December, the police arrested the duo and conducted a search at their residence, seizing eight bags, four sunglasses, and a belt, all meticulously prepared in cases for distribution. Additionally, three labels and a cord with luxury brand logos were found. The starting bid for these counterfeit items ranged from €2,000 to €10,000, potentially causing a significant financial loss of over €50,000 for the affected brands.

Further investigations revealed that the same deceptive practices were carried out in a Barcelona auction house, where two bags from luxury brands were intercepted due to inconsistencies identified by brand experts. The items were sent for further examination, and a detailed expert report is pending.

Also read: Counterfeit goods organisation disrupted with almost 250,000 items seized

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