Chinese police arrest 73 in fake bag bust

Hermes Birkin bag detailChinese police have arrested 73 suspects in a counterfeit handbag investigation run in cooperation with officials in the US.

The law enforcement action also yielded 20,000 counterfeit Coach, Hermes and Louis Vuitton bags, the official Chinese state Xinhua news agency reports. Police also reportedly closed 37 sites where the bags were sold or manufactured.

Action was taken after officials gathered evidence linking the suspects to the sale of almost 1m counterfeit bags. The case took off in January when local police in China's Guangdong Province uncovered evidence the suspects were manufacturing fake bags for export.

Chinese authorities shared the information with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and proposed a joint investigation. Working together, US and Chinese authorities found evidence the suspects were shipping counterfeits to the Middle East and North America.

The scope of the local investigation also broadened beyond Guangdong, with Chinese police discovering illegal sites in Anhui and Fujian provinces.  

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