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. Rick McDaniel

    Bet lots of the counterfeits came from China.

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


    October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. She Who Must Be Obeyed

    Mrs. Rumpole says if there was no market place for knockoffs, the industry would cease to exist.

    October 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jimthedo, Phoenix, AZ

    I ate some fake meat in Mexico once and it made me sick. Sicker than the meat in Fountain Hills, AZ. That was RANCID!!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. michael

    5 raids in 5 years (where do I get a job like that?)Follow the Money 100billion a year is worth a misinformation campaign threats and murder to some. Most legitimate Factories have been shipped to China as the Latin American Mexican elite ship their jobs to places that they don’t need to pay the high wage of 7dollars a day, thus the pressure climbs and the forecast for any kind of real job falls. NarcoMex (mexico) is a gunocrocy not a democratic republic and 1/3 of the population has left.... (if this were Sudan it would be called ethnic cleansing.) Yet people still want to support the human flesh, blackmarket counterfeit, drug, anything that can be leveraged (anything that is against the law) NarcoMex market and some even want to create another little NarcoMex north. 5 in 5 I am sure the 100billion each year NarcoMex makes between your raids/kabuki theater is makeing someone happy.

    October 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Overpriced

    If the companies that make all this overpriced junk didn't charge so much they wouldn't have this problem now, would they....

    October 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CatfishMammy

    They prolly gon epost they bail with they funny munny

    October 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack

    Some people don't seem to understand the problem with counterfeit products. It's not about getting the same product at a cheaper price. Many people buy these products thinking they got a quality good at a cheaper price. The counterfeit product usually breaks sooner or just doesn't work as well. That is ripping off the consumer and hurts the business that owns the real brand name. I sometimes pay a little more for a brand name so that I know I'm getting a better quality product and support for that product.

    October 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Char646

    This raid wont stop counterfeiting, it just paves the way for new counterfeiters to learn the trade and take their place. Drug dealers die and go to prison everyday, but is there any shortage of drug dealers? I agree intellectual property needs to be protected, but this is just a speed bump for them.

    October 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RobMO

    To bad there is no easy way to verify a retailer deals only in authentic goods. Even Wally Mart gets suckered into buying fake products, I hear. Maybe there is a business oportunity there.

    October 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. commonsenseintexas

    can they come up here and arrest the people in congress who're pretending to represent us?

    October 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Oski

    Only fake people wear fake goods...If you can't afford the real thing you shouldn't be a poser. Shop at Target where you belong. Otherwise, you are helping fund terrorism and organized crime. Fake Rolex wearers helped to fund the knocking down of the WTC.

    October 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gil

    If my Rolex I bought in Mexico is a fake, I've been screwed out of $25.00!!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 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 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ep canuk

    What a waste of time and money. Most of the tourists and locals know these things are fakes and buy them anyway. These people would never buy the real thing – they can't afford it and really dont' care if the item is "real" so no harm is done to the "real" companies. All these "raids" are doing is putting local people out of work. And then you wonder why they sneak into the US in search of work.

    October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
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