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49 arrests made in knock-off designer goods mafia probe

Naples police seize 300,000 garments and leather goods

17 January, 13:17
49 arrests made in knock-off designer goods mafia probe (ANSA) - Rome, January 17 - Italian finance police in Naples on Friday began executing 49 arrest orders regarding alleged members of six different organized crime groups.

They are accused of running illegal businesses based on counterfeit luxury designer fashion goods.

The finance police seized 300,000 garments, shoes and leather goods, in addition to properties, safety deposit boxes, insurance policies, physical assets and more than three million euros contained in bank accounts.

Charges have been filed against 76 people, while 18 clandestine factories and warehouses have been seized along with 442 machines used in manufacturing.

Investigators for Operation Silk Road claim three of the crime groups involved in the scheme were directly run by clans of the Neapolitan Camorra mafia.

The Camorra-dominated groups allegedly controlled and financed the trafficking of counterfeit merchandise by managing a network of clients ready to receive illicit goods.

The groups also invested illegal proceeds in other economic activities.

According to investigators, the Camorra clans created a holding group that organized importation of goods from China, local manufacturing and commercialisation in Italy.

The alleged Camorra-controlled groups worked together to procure raw materials and finished products, as well as to collaborate with other organisations, investigators charge.

The groups are accused of managing activities throughout Italy, but were concentrated in the central Italian regions of Lazio and Abruzzo, as well as the northern Italian region of Lombardy.