On 29 November 2016, Spanish Authorities dismantled one of the EU's main centers for counterfeit goods, based in northeast Spain. 71 people of the international gang were arrested and over than 40 premises were inspected, in which approximately 270,000 counterfeit goods, such as clothing, shoes, sunglasses, watches, jewelry and other products were seized.
The products seized were valued at over eight million euros at market price, resulting in the operation being the largest ever conducted in Spain against violations of intellectual property. The gang used a sophisticated network of fictional companies and front men to lauder the criminal activities, which are assumed to have exceeded nine million euros.
The head of counterfeiting at Europol, Chris Vansteenkiste defined the region where the gang was based, La Jonquera, a town close to the French border, as "one of the black spots in the European Union", given its reputation for its supermarkets selling low cost alcohol and tobacco.
This highly relevant hub within the EU for distributing counterfeit goods was discovered and detained by European police agency Europol along with the assistance of the Spanish forces.
Written by: The UAIPIT Team