Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vietnam counterfeiting and smuggling

A smuggling bust in Vietnam shows some of the unintended consequences of counterfeiting. A year ago police seized 4 trucks carrying genuine Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana clothes, accessories, shoes, and bags. The trucks were in the basement of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Saigon.  Interpol was engaged to hunt for the owners of two local stores called Gucci-Milano.

2 businessmen were charged with smuggling but absconded. They led the luxury-goods smuggling ring that was uncovered in late 2012. What has now been uncovered is that the goods were genuine, made in Italy, but they had been declared as Chinese-made goods in the customs declarations. The real aim was avoiding import tax on the authentic prices. The ring had apparently previously sent shipments from Italy via Hong Kong then on to Vietnam. Customs would accept them in Vietnam as Chinese-made fakes.

Its a clear example of how many other crimes are committed in the course of counterfeiting. Smuggling, tax evasion, lack of business registration and similar problems follow, when counterfeiting is a widespread and accepted method of business.

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