On November 19 the District Civil Guard Prosecutor and Border Patrol investigated a business thought to be selling counterfeit merchandise from various luxury brands, as the alleged perpetrators of a crime against industrial property.
This investigation began as a result of a complaint of a corporate representative acting on behalf of the plagiarised brands, which is why the operation to locate the establishments involved was initiated, in the company of a judicial expert from the commercial firms involved, locating a street vending establishment in Puerto de Mogán, on the south of Gran Canaria, whose display products were all imitations.
Civil Guard located 195 high-end watches and 144 luxury handbags and wallets, valued by the complainant brand’s expert at more than €1,100,000, proceeding to confiscate them and bring the suspected perpetrators to justice.
The seized objects, together with the suspects investigated, have been made available to the San Bartolomé de Tirajana courts.
Recommendations to avoid counterfeiting
The Civil Guard recommends looking to see if the price is suspiciously cheap and be wary of what appear to be low priced bargains; assess whether the quality of the product is lower than expected, on clothing and leather check for faulty seams or zippers; check if the product smells of glue, plastics or chemicals; if the packaging, labelling and images are of poor quality; if the point of sale is not a normal one for a product of the stated calibre.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is not, said the Civil Guard in a statement.
That knock-offs are rife in tourist resort areas is no secret. There are official outlets for luxury brand items, and these are not usually grubby little stores, or at the back of an ageing commercial centre, nor are they, usually, market stalls nor second hand flea-market pitches at a ‘rastro’. Though occasionally these previously-loved treasures can be of surprising quality.
The value applied to these fake items is somewhat arbitrary. Nobody really thinks that the seizure was of €1m worth of stuff, that would just be the value applied by the brand themselves to the items if they were real and had been purchased at the RRP. They are not. More often than not the brand have lost no money either, and the customer is unlikely to have been fooled before the purchase. Yes there is an argument that says if people can buy these, then they are not buying the real thing, but then most people who do buy these knockoffs have no intention of buying the real thing.
We live in a society where luxury items are put on display for all to covet, we are supposed to aspire to spend vast sums of money on such things. most people do not have vast sums of money, so where’s the real harm in buying a Gucchi bag, made of plastic, or some Rey Bar shades? Probably none, in reality, in the greater scheme of things.
Everyone involved is trading on parody, with their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Everyone involved knows its a lookylikey.
What an awful wake up call, then, it must be to find yourself in court accused of such serious theft, especially when you haven’t really intended to do much more than purchase from a wholesaler and sell to a tourist who gets a thrill from a cheap novelty item that isn’t quite what it looks like.
Of course its different if people are paying top dollar for fake merch, but most of these cheap knockoffs are pretty obvious to everyone.
We are not condoning it, but to be honest we do think there are probably more important things to be investigating, rather than men in suits protecting corporate greed over unaffordable things.
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