The Economic Inspection Service seized a record number of counterfeit products in October, reveals Kris Peeters, Minister of Employment, Economy, and Consumer Affairs. The team from the ministry seized, in Brussels, a total of 21,922 counterfeit branded products worth a total of 3 million Euros.
The operation resulted in the most important bust in terms of value, according the Minister Peeters. The goods were stored in 6 different warehouses and sold through a network of retailers. The group was dismantled following a wide-ranging preliminary investigation.
The items seized were mostly perfume, clothes, leather goods, and trainers. The 11,973 bottles of perfume found represent a health hazard, insists the ministry’s press release: consumers are unaware of their chemical composition and they were not submitted to testing.
“Our country is especially vulnerable to the trade in counterfeit goods because of its geographical location,” laments Kris Peeters. The case is in the hands of the public prosecutor in Brussels. The suspects are facing a possible fine of up to 60,000 EUROS and/or a 5-year prison term. In 2014, the Economic Inspection Service stopped counterfeit goods worth 9 million Euros getting onto the market.