15.4 million from Fake Vuitton bags: 40 arrested in China

15.4 million from Fake Vuitton bags: 40 arrested in China

Chinese police arrested about 40 people in the Guangdong province for suspicion of them being involved in an organization that manufactured and sold fake Vuitton handbags. One of them appears to be an employee of the French brand’s local boutique. The revenue from operations amounts to about 15.4 million USD. Moreover, some models were sold before the real ones were even available in store.

Fake Vuitton bags worth 15.4 million

According to the investigation, the counterfeiting operation began in 2018, when the suspects started manufacturing printed leather with the iconic LV logo. Yet, the logos would disappear quickly and so the initial operation failed. So, as reported by the South China Morning Post, a more effective way was implemented starting in March of 2019. The result: in just 5 months the organization had manufactured leather to make the fake Louis Vuitton bags. Local police started investigating in December 2019, when they found certain individuals selling fake LV handbags and other accessories via social media. Authorities found and closed down 40 laboratories in July 2020.

Criminal structure

In the beginning, the organization would buy real handbags from stores and disassemble them to create samples of the materials they needed to counterfeit. After that, the criminal organization recruited an employee of the French brand’s boutique to “gather” information, from the inside, regarding handbags that hadn’t been put for sale in China yet. An effective move: some fake models got to consumers before the authentic ones even reached the store windows.

The turnover

Manufacturing fake LV handbags costed between 15 and 30 USD. Wholesale retailers would then get them for between 45 and 75 USD each. The latter would then add an additional 40% when selling them to “retailers”, and they would finally charge an additional margin when selling the goods to end-consumers. The result: 15.4 million USD of turnover.

Image taken from qq.com

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