A four-month police probe to bring down a big counterfeit clothing distributor has resulted in three Murcia City arrests.
Over 70,000 fakes with a retail value of over €10 million were removed by the Policia Nacional from addresses in the San Andres area of the city.
Well-produced bogus-branded sportswear items started appearing last year in Crevillente and Elche in Alicante province, which prompted an operation to find out where they originated from.
They came from a well-organised enterprise that police said ‘controlled’ counterfeit sales along a large part of the eastern coast.
Ten properties were simultaneously raided by 50 police officers in San Andres with recovered items including 15,000 football kits, 30,000 sweatshirts, 5,000 jeans, 10,000 pairs of underpants, and 10,000 garments featuring top-branded coats and jackets.
The three Moroccan ringleaders- aged between 39 and 56- also distributed perfumes and stocked 2,000 pairs of sports shoes.
They ran a legitimate business in San Andres where no fake products were sold in what was a front for their main enterprise.
All of the fake items were held in a network of flats on the same street, with each address dedicated to specific goods.
Clients visiting the shop to make a substantial order had to wait for another gang member who was given a key to one of the addresses, before accompanying the customer to look over their ‘store room’.
The keys were hidden in bathrobes or jackets just in case the police paid a visit to the shop.
An added layer of security involved people being paid as guards to live in the flats to prevent other criminals from stealing the counterfeit items.
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