When we were in Italy, we saw lots of illegal immigrants selling fake designer bags like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Chanel in the street. You’ll see the vendors and their makeshift shops spread out on blankets everywhere in Venice. When the police come, they pack up and vanish. After the coast is clear, they set up again and are back in business.I think if you can name a brand, they have it. I had also seen these kinds of fakes in Thailand and Malaysia before.
When we were in Italy our guide warned us not to even talk to these vendors who sell these bags. Everywhere in the world if someone is selling illegal fake designer bags, the vendor is arrested and prosecuted while people who buy get away with a warning, but not in Italy.
In Italy, they fine you for buying these bags because they don’t want to arrest these illegal migrants. Italy has lots of illegal migrants because of the unrest in North Africa lately. The number is so high that the Italian government doesn’t want to arrest these people as it will cost them lots of money to follow proper process to deport them. They have to keep them in jail, feed them and follow a long legal procedure which means lots of money and resources in the process. The Italian government doesn’t want this headache so they have another policy.
They will issue fine for anyone caught buying these product on the spots which can range to thousands of dollars. They are hoping this will discourage tourist from buying goods from these illegal immigrants who in turn will stop income for illegal immigrants and finally they will leave Italy. But I have seen so many people buying the fakes from them. I think if you don’t go on a tour, no one will let you know that you can be fined. I didn’t see one sign during my whole trip mentioning anything about being fined for buying fake bags.
Here is one of that news from shortnews. com
Tourist Fined $1,450 for Buying Fake Louis Vuitton Bag for $10
65-year-old Austrian tourist Ursula Corel has been fined $1,450 for purchasing a $10 fake Louis Vuitton bag off a street vendor in Italy. Officers taking part in a crackdown on counterfeit goods observed the transaction through binoculars.
Corel says she knew the bag wasn´t real and purchased it “because it looked very nice”. She says she didn´t know it was illegal. Mayor Francesco Calzavara stood by the crackdown, saying they were trying to reduce demand and vendor numbers.
A local tourism organisation, alarmed by the prospect that the crackdown will drive away tourists, apologised to Corel and offered to pay the fine. The organisation is calling for warning signs and better communication with tourists on the issue.
I don´t think buying the bag was right but I don´t think fining the tourist is good idea either. I think there should be enough warning for tourist so they won’t risk buying them.
Imagine going on a holiday and having to pay $1000 unexpected fine which can easily ruin your holiday.
So if you are ever going to Italy, do keep this in mind.