Business still brisk on black market
8 arrested, $10 million in designer fakes seized, but lots of knock-offs still on Toronto market
Dec 04, 2007 04:30 AM
Toronto police seized $10 million worth of designer knock-offs this weekend, but fake goods were still easy to find in Chinatown yesterday.
And consumers who value style over substance are happy to buy them.
With Armani shirts, Louis Vuitton luggage and other luxurious-looking items on display at a downtown police station yesterday, one could be forgiven for thinking the officers were staging an haute couture show.
But the fancy loot came from "Project Chameleon," a seven-month investigation into counterfeit luxury items that netted police a multimillion-dollar knock-off haul imported from mainland China. They also made eight arrests.
Toronto police Insp. Mario Di Tommaso had a stern warning for shopkeepers who sell counterfeit items.
"If we find out that they are knowingly breaking the law, we will enforce the law to the best of our ability," he said at a news conference yesterday. "So, to those merchants that are out there selling these items that are counterfeit: Think twice."
I'll believe those words when I see it in action. Go anywhere in Toronto or the surrounding area where there is a high concentration of Chinese immigrants and you will without question find counterfeit merchandise for sale even if you are not looking for it. It's just there and in your face. It is what Asian's do: they sell counterfeit goods and in broad daylight. They don't even try to hide it. I have seen them "hot wiring" the old Playstation consoles so that they may play pirated games. The Asia Pacific mall, a mall catering to an Asian clientèle, is a den of counterfeit goods for sale. If the police were serious about a crack down they would target these outlets but I am certain they are hesitant for fear of being accused of racial profiling. That's why I think his words are just an idle threat.
It's Asian culture.
The whole article can be found here care of The Toronto Star.