Counterfeiting & Seizures

Counterfeit sneakers ring dismantled in Spain

Tens of thousands of counterfeit sneakers were confiscated during operations in three Spanish provinces, and a large counterfeiting network was uncovered. The total value of the confiscated shoes is estimated to be in the millions.

Spanish authorities carried out several raids against counterfeit sneakers in the provinces of Alicante, Toledo, and Madrid in December 2023. The joint operations of the Policía Nacional, the Madrid Municipal Police (Policía Municipal de Madrid) and the Customs Surveillance Service of the Spanish Tax Agency (Vigilancia Aduanera de la Agencia Tributaria) resulted in the arrest of seven suspected members of a counterfeiting ring. This was revealed in a recently published statement by the Spanish authorities.

According to that, the officials confiscated around 95,000 counterfeit sneakers and over 10,000 euros in cash. The value of the confiscated shoes is estimated to exceed two million euros. The brand owners affected have already confirmed that the shoes were counterfeits, according to the authorities.

The operation code-named Victoria had already begun in May 2023. Officials investigated the activities of several people in the Cobo Calleja commercial area in Fuenlabrada (Madrid), in Yuncler (Toledo), and in the El Carrús commercial area in Elche (Alicante). The officers established that a group was allegedly selling sneakers on a large scale in violation of intellectual property rights. Subsequently, the authorities carried out raids and seizures in nine stores and warehouses in mid-December. 

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (OCCRP) believes that counterfeit sneakers are a perennial global problem. In Germany, the number of counterfeit shoes seized by customs increased significantly between 2021 and 2022.



Ministerio del interior (Spanien), OCCRP

Article in cooperation with the Anti-Piracy Analyst


Sabine Carrell, International Communications Manager at SCRIBOS

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