Spanish police have seized thousands of fake Christmas toys in operation Ludus III’, in an operation led by the European Crime Agency Europol
Spanish Customs Surveillance Officials of the Tax Agency, and agents of the National Police, acting within the framework of operation ‘Ludus III’, have dismantled a network involved in the distribution of fake toys.
Within the framework of this major operation, a Chinese national was eventually arrested and 170,000 articles were seized from a warehouse in the Spanish capital of Madrid.
The investigation began last August when authorities learned that there were several stuffed animals and toys in different warehouses in the Cobo Industrial Estate in Calleja, which might be infringing on the intellectual property of different brands in the toy industry.
Due to the proximity of the Christmas campaign, when the fraudulent sale of toys proliferates, authorities decided to plan a joint operation that would result in the confiscation of all the goods.
A team of police officers raided a warehouse in the town of Fuenlabrada (Madrid) and searched the premises. A large number of toys from well-known brands were discovered that allegedly violated rights against industrial property.
When asked by the investigating officers to prove the legitimacy of the goods, the proprietors lacked any documentation to prove who were the original manufacturers.
Customs officials seized a total of 169,320 items consisting of toys, stuffed animals, and other various branded items, with an estimated market value of over 1,200,000 euros.
The Chinese national was arrested and charged firstly with a crime against industrial property and secondly with another for smuggling illegal goods into the country.
Counterfeit versions of popular children’s toys may contain harmful phthalates, which are chemical compounds that can damage organs and the reproductive system.