*Natural cowhide leather and suede details
*Snap hook closure with Louis Vuitton engraving
*Press studs to adjust volume
*Large interior zipped pocket
*Soft textile lining printed with the iconic Monogram pattern
*Printed with herita...
Inside the pirates' web WASHINGTON/GUANGZHOU Anybody could tell right away that the Louis Vuitton shoulder bag was fake because it was delivered in a recycled box that once shipped batteries.
Warnings printed on the inside of the box read: "Danger Contains Sulfuric Acid" and "Poison Causes louis vuitton bags vs gucci bags Severe Burns" not the sort of messages that would normally accompany a product from one of the world's most iconic luxury brands. to the shadowy producers based in Guangzhou China, where my colleague Melanie Lee found the illicit workshops and markets. Ericwhy, based in Guangzhou, calls its stuff "designer inspired alternative to actual Louis Vuitton" in a disclaimer on its website. law enforcement officials say this website and many others that offer a dazzling array of goods online clothes, electronics, footwear, watches, medicines are outlaws, and they plan to go after them hard. Counterfeit commerce over the Internet has soared in the past couple of years, turning what had been an irritant to businesses into a serious competitive threat, the officials say. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The one I ordered cost $122 with a $40 shipping fee, so by my definition it was not exactly cheap. But comparable bags sold at a local Louis Vuitton retail store were $1,000 or more. address and credit card information, and instantly got an email from my credit card company warning of possible fraud on my account. Soon, I received a second email, this one a receipt with a Worldwide Express Mail Service (EMS) tracking number so I could follow my package. The bag left Guangzhou, China on September 14 and arrived on my desk by the 20th. It was wrapped in a yellow sheath with the Louis Vuitton logo and smelled strongly of leather. But in another sign something was not quite right, the English instructions that came with it read: louis vuitton purses neverfull gm "Louis Vuitton has created for you prestigious glazed leather" the sentence ending abruptly without the word "bag." I took the bag to a Louis Vuitton store in Chevy Chase, Maryland to see how it compared with the real article. The store clerk, a tall man in a stylish suit, was restrained. "We only talk about our own products," he said icily, adding "we don't have any bags like that." That Louis Vuitton doesn't want its store personnel to talk about how easily their products can be copied is perhaps understandable. If word got around fake bags were on the street, then people might begin to wonder if their own bags were real. Part of the brand's cachet is its exclusivity, which easily available counterfeits devalue. customs and other law enforcement agents made nearly 15,000 seizures of counterfeit goods, 80 percent of which came from China. Handbags were third on the list, behind consumer electronics and footwear the top item for four consecutive years. Attorney General Eric Holder told an intellectual property conference in Hong Kong last week. "They're selling defective and dangerous imitations of critical components, like brake pads, or everyday consumer goods, like toothpaste. They're conducting corporate espionage. In the 1980s, multinationals from various industries began outsourcing production to factories in the coastal provinces. In this part of Guangdong province, it was leather. By the late 1990s, low budget workshops in inconspicuous neighborhoods near the outsourcing factories had sprung up making louis vuitton alma 2012 fake versions of the products. Today, much of Shiling's leather goods are destined for the counterfeit trade. At one such workshop near Shiling Secondary School, women and their young daughters could be seen cutting and sewing leather by louis vuitton at neiman marcus atlanta the windows. Lanky men loitered on the ground floor by a "help wanted" poster seeking leather workers, serving as lookouts. These places are occasionally targeted for police raids. Zhou She, a private investigator whose job is to sniff out illicit hives of counterfeiting operations, told us about this cluster of workshops, but we must act discreetly, he says. Walking gingerly around the three storey shop house factories and watching men and women pound metal hardware into leather in the back alleys, it feels like we are in a pirates' lair.
Police officials say organized crime gangs, sometimes called triads in this part of China, are deeply involved, given their extensive underground networks. "Of course they are involved. It is very low risk for them," Zhou said.
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