Eight arrested in 2.5-million-euro counterfeit garment raid

The Guardia Civil has arrested eight people in Bizkaia for counterfeiting clothing and accessories whose value amounts to 2,748,000 euro. They are facing a crime against industrial property for the falsification of 31,800 articles.

The investigations began in November, when officers from the Bizkaia tax and border patrols detected the illegal sale of numerous counterfeit garments and accessories in markets spread across different towns in Biscay.

Specifically, they discovered that two houses in Sestao (Bizkaia) were being used as a warehouse, and that street vendors kept the illegal merchandise there to later put it up for sale.

The agents found out that it was a perfectly structured organisation and that its members had a defined role in the structure. While some carried out tasks of custody and storage of the illegal merchandise, others marketed the counterfeits.

Faced with such evidence and with the authorisation of a court in Barakaldo, the Guardia Civil has searched two houses and premises located in the Sestao building, where the numerous garments were stored and prepared for sale.

Among the counterfeit items seized, 4,300 sports kits stand out, mostly from the reference football team in Bizkaia, as well as around 180 watches, more than 1,300 bags and 108,300 logos and trademarks to be screen printed or embroidered.

During the search of a storage room, the agents discovered a clandestine workshop fully equipped, with machinery for sewing, die-cutting and screen-printing garments and textile accessories together with computer elements necessary to reproduce counterfeits. The location of the workshop evidenced the high degree of specialisation of the organisation.