When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

26 April 2009

Counterfeit handbags: better ROI than cocaine or hashish

Naples anti-organized crime prosecutor Roberti said the Camorra has pumped up what once was a kind of cottage industry, with crime clan bosses knitting closer ties with mobsters in China, where fake designer clothing, shoes and accessories are now churned out in factories for the mob.

Trafficking in fake designer goods — which investigators suspect the Camorra is also peddling in the United States, France, Britain and Germany — is now becoming more profitable for the Neapolitan syndicate that dealing in cocaine and hashish, said Mainolfi, the customs and tax police general.

He has calculated that for every euro it costs to manufacture the counterfeit designer goods, the Camorra earns 10 euros, while for every euro spent to run drug trafficking, it earns six or seven euros.

The fakes, sold in street stalls and clothing shops in the Naples and Rome areas, arrive by the tons in Naples' sprawling, chaotic port, where custom officials manage to check only some 5 percent of the shipping containers being unloaded, Mainolfi said.
Italy's Mafia thrives in global financial meltdown (Associated Press)

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