Fake goods targeted in Brazil

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2007, 12:00am

Six Chinese merchants have been detained and millions of dollars in alleged counterfeit goods confiscated during an anti-piracy raid in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, the China News Service has reported.

Authorities, with the help of military police, blocked off a mall housing almost 300 shops run by Chinese merchants at 6.30am on Tuesday.

The raid on 48 shops suspected of selling counterfeit goods followed a tip-off, the report said.

Shop owners not selling brand-name fakes but worried about the safety of their property also became involved in a standoff with police.

'Six people were detained for damaging public property, disrespect for the police and providing incorrect information,' the report said.

The police seized three truckloads of counterfeit goods, including fake Puma shoes and shirts. Yu Xiao , China's consul-general in Sao Paulo, arrived at the scene and demanded the raid be conducted in the presence of merchant representatives.

The mall has been a frequent raid target in recent years, with the most recent in January by 1,300 military police officers which netted goods valued at tens of millions of dollars.

Police in Rome have also been targeting Chinese merchants, seizing goods worth Euro30 million (HK$313 million) in raids since March 22.

Italian police have body-searched shop staff members and customers at 80 or so Chinese shops in Rome, taken away cash and account books, and locked up 34 warehouses, the China News Service reported, quoting a representative from a Chinese business group in Rome.

The representative said the raid was conducted because 'some officials in customs had violated the law and merchants were involved'.