Huge Counterfeit Crime Ring Caught in China
Shanghai police have succeeded in shutting down an organised crime ring in China with over
4,000 counterfeit goods in their possession. The police seized knock-off luxury clothing and
accessories that had been branded as Kenzo, Loewe, and Louis Vuitton, to mention a few,
and 32 people were arrested as a result of the operation. Social media, applications, and app
stores appear to have been the modus operandi for marketing and selling the fake products.
The counterfeit ring had been selling counterfeit goods through the widely used Chinese
app, WeChat. Applications such as these, and other social media platforms, have recently
become lucrative playing fields for counterfeiters. Technology evolves far too quickly for
regulations to effectively chaperon and control users of social media and apps, leaving many
holes and windows that fraudsters are quick to take advantage of. WeChat, for example, is
known to have been used to purchase and sell fake goods as it is a personal communication
app and any exchanges facilitated by the app would be considered private, peer-to-peer
actions and not commercial exchanges.
The police estimate that the crime ring had sold as many as 100,000 knock-offs before being
caught, with most products being luxury-branded yet only costing approximately US$30 to