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A network that manufactured fake bags that sold for up to 400 euros falls

There is no prestigious brand that has not surrendered to the good work of the leather goods of the Cadiz town of Ubrique. Now, it is these same companies that have made it possible to uncover a counterfeit manufacturing network in the town that has resulted in 55 arrests and 15,347 products seized. It has been the National Police that has been in charge of putting an end to the criminal activity of these counterfeiters who made and distributed products of such realism that they were sold with prices of up to 400 euros.

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As explained by the Police itself in a press release, the investigation was launched in October 2015 at the initiative of the affected companies themselves. It was then that the agents received a report prepared by a private detective, commissioned by "several brands of recognized prestige", as explained this Friday in the statement. It has not been until these days when the investigation has ended with the arrest of more than fifty people linked to the production of both a clandestine workshop and a point of sale in another province. In addition, the police have seized 4,865 leather goods, 9,800 items of clothing, 544 watches and 138 belts, "all of them fake."

The detainees were in charge of both the production and the distribution of the counterfeit products. In fact, the documentation denounced the sale in Marbella of handbags and other imitation leather goods. With this initial information, the agents confirmed the existence of a warehouse in the town of Malaga that clandestinely sold counterfeit items. The same person who ran the premises, "in turn maintained a direct relationship with an undetermined number of stalls in the Malaga market, run by citizens of North African origin."

From this first phase, the researchers intervened forgeries in 47 market stalls in the Malaga towns of Estepona and Fuengirola. In addition, they searched the premises in Marbella, owned by an individual of North African origin, who acted as a clandestine store in which the fake products were displayed. Two more searches in two storage rooms in the town of Torremolinos, also used by the owner of the Marbella warehouse, ended with the intervention of more counterfeit effects.

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From Malaga to Ubrique

The agents, from the Section of Crimes against Intellectual and Industrial Property of the General Judicial Police Station, followed the steps of the distribution until they discovered that the products came from a leather-making workshop in the town of Cadiz. In the last phase of the investigations, the Police carried out a search at a home in Ubrique. There, a clandestine clothing point was discovered for the production of bags and other fake leather goods. The premises were equipped with all the necessary material for its production, including the dies of renowned brands.

Ubrique (with 16,884 inhabitants according to INE data for 2014) has leather goods as one of its main productive sectors. Traditionally, it employs a multitude of people from Ubrique in different companies that produce leather goods, such as bags, wallets and belts. Years ago this experience caught the attention of the big firms in the sector. However, in the years prior to the crisis, many of these big brands decided to transfer their production to Asian countries to lower production costs.

After a time of contracts with Asian factories, many of the large companies decided to return to the town of Cadiz to make their products. The reason for his return was the higher quality of Ubrique production and the counterfeits that proliferate from Asian clandestine workshops. Now, these luxury firms are facing this same problem again, in a locality where other points of counterfeiting have already been discovered before. Some of them take advantage of the knowledge acquired in pattern making and qualities to make highly realistic copies.

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