FIGHTING FAKES: Led by deputy public prosecutor Giancarlo Mancusi, Bergamo’s Financial Guard has shut down 16 Web sites that were selling hundreds of thousands of counterfeit luxury goods only slightly below regular retail prices. The sites used a wide range of international I.P. addresses in an attempt to hide their true locations, appearing to be based across the globe in Luxemburg, Spain, Australia, Israel, the U.S., Turkey, Hong Kong, Panama, China and India.

According to the Guard, over 400,000 counterfeit products were trafficked through the Web sites, and the items mimicked over 150 well-known labels, including Ferrari, Armani, Moncler, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Adidas, Nike and Carrera. The Guard worked directly with brand representatives, technical consultants and judicial authorities to determine that the items were fake and “of a nature that could mislead potential customers.”

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Further investigations are still underway. In a statement, the Guard said its goal was “to protect the correct functioning of the market and consumers, also with regards to the potential health risks that can derive from use of counterfeit goods.”

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