A JOINT operation between the Guardia Civil and the Tax Agency have found 20,000 pieces of alleged counterfeit jewellery in the port of Alicante.
It was found in a shipment arriving from China, with a final destination of Algeria, and police estimate the sale of the illegal merchandise would run into a few million euro as many of the examples found were well-known top of the range brands.
The shipment originally arrived at the Alicante-Elche Airport back in June of this year and consisted of 31 packages from China. It was then transferred by customs to temporary storage facilities in the Alicante port area before onward transportation by sea to Algeria.
Suspicions were first aroused by authorities as the amount of time being taken to complete the usual formalities was taking longer than usual. Customs security officers then inspected the shipment and initially discovered boxes that were completely legitimate. However, hidden underneath were numerous bags and packages containing thousands of pieces of apparently fake jewellery made by some of the most prestigious names in the world.
A full assessment has yet to be determined due to large number of items involved, but with some of them purporting to be diamond bracelets made by Cartier which can reach up to €10,000 on the market each, this has been a significant find.