STRONG STRIKE AGAINST COUNTERFEITING — LA SALADA
During the month of June, 2017 an important government anticounterfeiting raids were carried out in “La Salada”, considered the largest illegal fair in the world.
The Police of the Province of Buenos Aires was carried out a series of raids at the illegal fair known as “La Salada”, located on the Camino de la Ribera of Ingeniero Budge´s, Lomas de Zamora, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The three largest facilities that constitute the illegal fair known as “La Salada” are Punta Mogotes, Urkupiña and Ocean, where 50% of the clothes sold are of counterfeit brands which are produced in the 30 thousand clandestine workshops that act as suppliers.
Jorge Castillo, one of the detainees during the operations and visible face of the complex of this illegal fair, resisted firing at the police until he finally ended up being handcuffed.
During the procedures, twenty firearms and a large quantity of ammunition and projectiles were seized. That arsenal was divided among the four bands that were dedicated to threatening the merchants and charging them the corresponding “daily rent” to develop their activities.
The volume of money managed by “La Salada”, a $ 71.5 billion argentine pesos per year, was not unnoticed by the European Union (EU), which described “La Salada” as an emblem of trade and production of counterfeit merchandise, considering it the largest illegal fair in the world. In addition, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), had already alerted businessmen in their country about the growing piracy of products in Argentine.
It’s important to mention that an investigation conducted by the Argentine Chamber of Commerce in 2013 revealed that during the month of September of that year, there was an increase of the 15% in the number of illegal shops on streets and avenues of the city of Buenos Aires, being the items with greater counterfeit “clothing and footwear”, which covered 40.1% , and “optics, photography, watchmaking and jewelry” with 14.5%.
According to the Argentine Chamber of Commerce, the 55,63 % of individual counterfeits were concentrated in “optics, photography, watchmaking and jewelry” while the 38,2% did so in “clothing and footwear”. The remaining 6.16% corresponded to “toys and recreation”, being mostly DVD fakes.
Furthermore, on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017, the police of the city of Buenos Aires, carried out a raid in local shops located in the neighborhood of Balvanera. These shops marketed apocryphal perfumes and cosmetics from various internationally renowned brands such as “Paco Rabanne”, “Kenzo”, “Carolina Herrera”, “Jesus Del Pozo”, “Ralph Lauren”, “Nina Ricci”, “Bulgary”, “Giorgio Armani”, “Dior” and “Lancome”, among others.
These products did not have the correct labels and sanitary data granted by the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology “ANMAT”. They also lacked of expiration and manufacturing date, and the data of the responsible for their manufacture in the packaging.
It is important to note that the aforementioned perfumes, in addition to the counterfeiting internationally prestigious brands, are usually highly toxic, since they are manufactured with dangerous chemicals that imitate the essences of the original perfumes.
Once the operation was concluded, the police of the city of Buenos Aires City seized more than 33,000 cosmetic articles in violation of the Argentine.
Trademark Law No. 22,362 and articles 200 and 201 of the Argentinean Criminal Code sanction these activities as follows:
Article 31 of Argentine Trademark Law No. 22,362 foresees: “It shall be punished with imprisonment from three (3) months to two (2) years, and may also can be applied a fine of four
thousand ($ 4,000) pesos to one hundred thousand ($ 100,000) pesos to:
(A) Who falsely or fraudulently imitates a trademark or a designation;
B) Anyone who uses a trademark or designation falsified, fraudulently imitated or belonging to a third party without his authorization;
C) The person who sells a registered trademark or a designation falsified, fraudulently imitated or belonging to a third party without his authorization;
D) Anyone who sells or otherwise markets products or services with a registered trademark falsified or a fraudulently imitated trademark”.
Additionally, Article 200 of the Criminal Code states: “It shall be punished with reclusion or imprisonment of THREE (3) to TEN (10) years and a fine of TEN THOUSAND ($ 10,000) PESOS to TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND ($ 200,000) PESOS, who poisons, adulterate or falsify in a dangerous manner to health, drinking water or food or medicinal substances intended for public use or
consumption of a collectivity of persons.”
Article 201 of the Criminal Code, in turn, states: “The penalties of the preceding article shall apply to any person who sells, supplies, distributes or stores for the purpose of marketing potable water, food or medicinal substances or dangerous goods to health, dissimulating its harmful character”.
It was also determined that stores sold items such as bags, backpacks, sneakers, soccer t-shirts, wallets and toys in violation of the Trademark Law. These, products, like the perfumes mentioned above, evaded customs and tax controls.