Spanish and Portuguese police seized around 60,000 counterfeit designer clothes, accessories and luxury goods worth 16.5 million euros ($ 20 million), making eight arrests and 33 other suspects were reported to the authorities.
The July 21 operation focused on the sale of counterfeit items in the Spanish towns of La Jonquera and Els LÃmits, close to the French border, both of which are notorious locations for the trade in illicit goods.
Agents from the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana and the Autoridade de SeguranÃ§a Alimentar e EconÃ³mica – supported by Europol – searched 13 locations during the operation and, along with the alleged counterfeit products, also discovered 212 kg of metal labels of different brands, or around â¬ 24,000. in cash, printing plates, electronic equipment and documents.
The investigation was triggered in 2019 by a statement from an association of brand representatives, which reported the sale of counterfeit products in Spanish cities.
The Guardia Civil uncovered an organized criminal group behind the activity, according to Europol, which said the suspects were importing ready-to-sell counterfeit items made in Portugal.
They also bought unbranded products to which they added various counterfeit labels imported from China. For example, they embossed metal labels on unbranded belts and bags. All of these items were then sold as genuine in various stores in the region.