Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - By Alex Watkins awatkins@cb­

A MAS­SIVE hoard of fake jewellery has been in­ter­cepted at Ali­cante port by the Guardia Civil.

A force spokesman said the il­le­gal mer­chan­dise, which im­i­tated var­i­ous pres­ti­gious brands, would have re­sulted in multi-mil­lion-euro losses had it been sold. The ship­ment of 31 pack­ages was sent from China to Ali­can­teElche air­port, from where it was taken to the port to be shipped to Al­ge­ria.

It was be­ing han­dled for the Chi­nese sender and Al­ge­rian re­cip­i­ent by a Span­ish in­ter­me­di­ary com­pany based in La Coruña.

Of­fi­cers be­came sus­pi­cious when it took longer than usual for the ex­port or­der to be com­pleted, as the Span­ish com­pany was still wait­ing for in­struc­tions from the re­cip­i­ent, so they in­spected the goods.

Although they found le­git­i­mate pieces in­side, un­der­neath them were bags con­tain­ing thou­sands of ap­par­ently fake brand-name items.

A to­tal of 19,736 pieces were counted and sorted ac­cord­ing to the brands, so that the af­fected multi-na­tion­als could value them.

There were so many that the ex­act value has not yet been de­ter­mined but it is thought to be in the mil­lions be­cause one ex­am­ple of the items was a fake Cartier gold and di­a­mond bracelet with a mar­ket value of €9,800, which even had a se­rial num­ber en­graved in­side. The goods are be­ing held at Ali­cante port cus­toms and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing in or­der to lo­cate the re­cip­i­ent, a busi­ness­man who has been iden­ti­fied and is based in Al­ge­ria.

Pho­tos of the seized items were sent to the press

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