October 1st, 2010
10:08 AM ET

600 arrested in South America during counterfeit raids

A bus filled with counterfeit goods was confiscated in Brazil.

Police across South America have arrested more than 600 people and confiscated goods worth more than $50 million as part of a six-month effort to crack down on trade in counterfeit products, the international police organization Interpol said Friday.

The arrests come from more than 300 raids in 13 countries and the counterfeit goods ranged from soft drinks to car parts, the agency said.

Also seized were counterfeit toys that posed a health hazard to children, Interpol said.

“INTERPOL will continue to work with all of our member countries to target and dismantle the organized crime gangs behind counterfeits and fakes which not only pose a significant threat to the health and safety of consumers, but also effects national economies which during these times of global financial crisis can have even more serious consequences,” said Roberto Manriquez, project manager for Operation Jupiter, which was launched in 2005 by Interpol’s Intellectual Property Rights program. This was the fifth series of raids conducted under Operation Jupiter.

Fake alcohol was confiscated in Ecuador.

“This on going project once again proved the effectiveness of law enforcement cooperation in combating transnational crime,” said Allen Bruford, deputy director of compliance and facilitation for the World Customs Organization, which assisted in the operation.

In addition to seizing the counterfeit goods, Interpol said police and customs officials were able to identify and shut down workshops across the region where the fakes were made.

Countries included in this year’s raids were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France (French Guyana), Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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Filed under: Crime • World
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Mike D

    Harwin Street in Houston TX is notorious for counterfeit goods. A short time ago i visited thee shops. Each had a back room where Guchi and other name brand merchandise was sold. And these had also counterfeit labels. Local police seem to turn a blind eye to these shops and this illegal activity.

    This street alone probably sells millions of dollars each year in counterfeit goods both in the stores and over the internet.

    October 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shaun

    It took 300 raids to arrest 600 people? That seems pretty inefficient...

    October 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      They were all old married couples driving RV buses.

      October 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Harvey Wallbanger

    If the government prints worthless paper, it is called feit currency. If I do it, it is called counterfeit. Seems to me they should go after the biggest counterfeiter of all, the United States government. They are printing worthless paper by the train load.

    The only reason why U.S. currency has any value is because the American government says it does. Considering the American dollar has lost 98% in the last century, it seems to be a very poorly kept promise.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • thoughtdog

      Bet you still relish every dime of it you have in your bank account though, don't you!

      October 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      I'll be more than happy to safely dispose of those counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes for you. Don't bother to thank me either – it's just how I roll.

      October 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey Wallbanger

      @thoughtdog - I converted most of my Federal Reserve Notes and paper investments into hard assets (gold, silver, platinum, etc) back in year 2000. Right now I am almost totally immune to inflation, unemployment, and economic uncertainty. As a result I am very solidly in the black, my debt level is zero, and I am living very comfortably.

      I urge you to convert at least some of your paper into hard assets. The day is not far off when a loaf of bread will cost fifty dollars.

      October 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey Wallbanger

      @Russ – I do not have very many Federal Reserve notes. I work when I feel like it, and then only enough to cover what I need to pay for with cash. When I have to, I convert some of my hard assets into currency and pay taxes on the profits. As the truth about the dollar is becoming increasingly clear I am finding the value of the hard assets is rising considerably faster than the rate of inflation. In short, I am making out like a bandit.

      I encourage you to convert some of you wealth into hard assets that can be bartered. The day is not far off when they will put glue on twenty dollar bills and use them for stamps.

      October 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. johndoe5

    it needs interpols from 600 countries to battle counterfeits from China, or its worldwide exports.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. just jane

    We are talking about south america when north america's gov't is the biggest counterfeiters of them all.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gregg

    Sales of fake designer products have been going on for years in New York City and out in the open, on main streets !! Apparantly nobody in Law Enforcement cares as the fendors don't even hide !! Gregg NYC

    October 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Terry D

    Fake alcohol in south america reminds me of the production facility in new jersey that was making russian vodka

    October 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. djunior

    Alot of flee markets have counterfeit clothes and shoes jewelry etc. Noone seems to care about it.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DannyK

    It's funny that 50million in equipment could have been used to start a legitimate business and make probably more money than the counterfit operation.

    October 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Moby, Detroit, MI

    Right wing view – Government interference with small busines entrepeneurs

    Left wing view – Corporate interests holding down the poor.

    See how silly the right/left partisans have become. LMAO

    October 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. djunior

    I counterfeit some chicken lol

    October 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. D

    Interesting, out government likes to come up with reasons for what we do to be deemed illegal. So that they can control it all......ex(marijuana). A natural plant but we have no rights to it unless we register........lol. Only god can judge us I believe....but our government is pretty good at acting as if they are god for the world.

    October 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • thoughtdog

      Smoke ON Brother!

      October 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. redneckssuck

    i like oatmeal

    October 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Erma Goon

    The police probably smoked it.

    October 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Are You Kidding me you clown

    To: knockoffsFoff Are you kidding me, you have the biggest load of trash, you should call yourself theNew York Full or trash Department, Your a load ot it, people that can afford it buy it people that can't buy fakes for that very reason of over priced waste of crap resourses, causing pollution to tan the hide your the worse kind of fake trash of all, go smoke some herb abd get a life clown, And your just some company posting your chit to make another corperate end run around at the real truth, over blown, RIGHT

    October 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
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