Prada has secured a digital win as it closed a Web site that sold counterfeit products showing the Italian company’s label. The luxury firm has closed the site borsepradamilano.it in collaboration with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, part of the Italian armed forces under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance and in charge of dealing with financial crime and smuggling.
According to a legal source, the products were made in China and the goods were distributed through France, the Netherlands and the U.K.
A Prada spokesman said the closure of the above mentioned domain, which sold “unauthorized counterfeit products,” helps to “assure consumers that the company continues to monitor any infringement against the brand with the intent to preserve consumers and their purchases.” Luxury brands have increasingly been active in protecting their trademarks both online and off-line globally.
Financial details regarding the closure of the Web site were not available, said the spokesman.
According to a statement issued by a section of the Guardia di Finanza in Italy’s northern town of Pordenone, which uncovered the network, the criminal thread stemmed from China and passed through France, the Netherlands and England.
The Guardia di Finanza highlighted that the Web site looked authentic, noting that its “very accurate graphic processing and the representation of original products –made everything more plausible.” A “complex and costly” design proved that the intent was to deceive also the more experienced customers, continued the police. In addition, prices were in line with those Prada’s official outlets, contributing to the site’s credibility as did its system of payment, “managed by main credit card circuits,” and of shipments, handled by specialized and leading companies.
The police traced one person in France, in the Loire department, who had registered the site in the Netherlands connected to the Web through a server in England. Payments were made to an account in the Chinese region of Guandong, but customers could only retrieve the goods after an “unexpected” payment of custom expenses of shipments from Hong Kong.
The police succeeded in closing the site through 90 servers in the world.