By John Ensor •
Updated: 02 Sep 2023 • 15:16
Counterfeit items seized. Credit: GuardiCivil.es
Police have carried out inspections of retail outlets that were dedicated to the sale of a large number of counterfeit items from luxury brands.
In a sweeping operation, the Guardia Civil has seized over 25,000 counterfeit items worth more than six million euros. The operation took place across the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, involving 39 suspects and 41 businesses, as reported on Saturday, September 2.
The operation, codenamed LABEL,’ commenced in May. The Guardia Civil initiated surveillance on various commercial establishments located on the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. They discovered a multitude of counterfeit products being sold.
After identifying the establishments, officers orchestrated a large-scale operation to carry out simultaneous inspections. This was aimed at preventing merchants from tipping each other off. A total of 41 stores, mostly bazaars, were inspected.
The stores were found to be selling a wide range of counterfeit items, including clothing, bags, wallets, belts, footwear, sunglasses, perfumes, toys, and other children’s items. All were imitations of high-end brands. During the inspections, the officers collaborated with a judicial expert in trademarks, who confirmed that the items for sale were indeed counterfeits.
Particular attention was given to counterfeit children’s items, as these products had not undergone mandatory quality controls, posing potential safety risks to young users.
After thorough expert analysis, the total value of the seized counterfeit items was estimated at 6,344,127 euros. This marks one of the largest operations against industrial property in the Canary Islands.
The operation involved 120 officers from various units, including the Fiscal and Border Analysis Unit (UDAIFF) of the Fiscal Section of the Tenerife North and Tenerife South Airports, as well as members of the Fiscal and Border Patrols (PAFIF’s) of the territorial companies and operatives from the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police.
The investigation is being overseen by competent courts in each district where the inspections occurred, along with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of S/C of Tenerife.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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