PARIS — Police said they have dismantled a counterfeiting ring in the outskirts of Paris, which was selling fake watches bearing three LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand names. They were worth 1.5 million euros, or $1.6 million at current exchange.
According to a statement issued by the Gendarmerie Nationale, a complaint lodged by LVMH prompted a preliminary inquiry by the force’s crime analysis and research unit that lasted several months. The investigation led them to two warehouses operated by two companies in the Seine-Saint-Denis department in the outskirts of Paris, where 5,650 counterfeit Hublot, Christian Dior and Tag Heuer watches were seized along with accounting documents and 42,000 euros, or $46,060, in cash.
According to reports, the fake watches were distributed in stores in Seine-Saint-Denis and online.
LVMH declined to comment.
The French national police said four people have been arrested and remain in police custody, with their trial date set for January at the district court of Bobigny.
Among LVMH’s most high-profile counterfeit cases was the group’s eight-yearlong legal battle with eBay over the sale of fake luxury goods on the online auction site. The suit ended with an out-of-court settlement in July 2014 of an undisclosed amount, as well as a joint statement announcing both parties’ engagement in “a cooperative effort to protect intellectual property rights and combat counterfeits in online commerce.”