Fake Burberry sold with falsified customs papers: police

Chen Huizhi
A group of 31 suspects used fraudulent declarations to sell knockoffs of the famous British brand, according to Shanghai law enforcement.
Chen Huizhi
Fake Burberry sold with falsified customs papers: police
Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Thirty-one suspects have been apprehended for allegedly producing and selling fake products under the British brand name Burberry, Shanghai police said on Thursday.

Suspects from a company based in Jiangsu Province allegedly provided the fake products to an online shopping website, which police declined to name, with falsified customs papers.

While the website requires customs declaration forms from its suppliers of imported products, the Jiangsu company provided falsified declarations in order to deliver a large quantity of fakes to the website, police said.

Police started their investigation in October after a man surnamed Wang reported that he purchased a fake Burberry scarf on the website.

Wang claimed that he bought the scarf for 2,500 yuan (US$355) on the website, compared to Burberry's retail price of 3,000 yuan. Wang submitted the scarf for an authenticity check at a Burberry outlet and was told that it was a fake.

Through their investigation, police found that the Jiangsu company which provided the website with the scarf Wang bought imported 50 genuine Burberry scarves, but the number of imported scarves was stated to be 850 on the customs declaration it submitted to the website in digital form.

Police also say that the company purchased the fake “Burberry” scarves for 400 yuan each, while the production cost of each fake scarf was 200 to 300 yuan.

Further, police found that the fake “Burberry” products, including garments and accessories, were made by a clothing manufacturer in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, and the same fakes were also being sold in stores in Shanghai, and Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, apart from being sold online.

The suspects were caught between October 29 and November 13 in 12 locations, including two factories and 10 warehouses and stores. The market value of the copycats were estimated at 100 million yuan, police said.

Fake Burberry sold with falsified customs papers: police
Shanghai police

A warehouse storing fake "Burberry" products.

Among the suspects, three have been arrested, 19 are still under detention, and nine others have been released on bail, police said.

Police said the British Consulate General in Shanghai, on behalf of Burberry, has addressed a letter of thanks to them with praise for their work in protecting intellectual property rights.

Shanghai police said they’re increasing efforts in combating such crimes, especially by tracking fake goods to their sources.

In a separate case, 21 suspects were caught by the end of November for allegedly producing and selling fake Louis Vuitton bags, police said.

The suspects allegedly used their public WeChat accounts to find wholesale buyers and produced the bags on demand in two factories: one in Guangzhou city and the other in Xianning city, Hubei Province.

Police said that most of fakes were sold abroad in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Russia.

During raids in Guangzhou, police seized a cache of fake Louis Vuitton bags whose authentic counterparts were worth about 160 million yuan.

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