Prada is at the center of an Italian police effort, as its goods were some of the most popular ones being offered on in connection with a "very sophisticated" counterfeiting operation uncovered by national police this week. As noted by Reuters, "The site itself ran worldwide, using 90 service providers and standard electronic payment systems, and displayed photographs of authentic Prada products sold at prices in line with those offered at Prada's factory outlets, thereby, lending the site an increased level of credibility."
The products being offered on the sites were manufactured in China's Guangdong region and shipped by international couriers from Hong Kong. The bust this week comes on the heels of extensive efforts by Italian police in conjunction with Prada's own in-jouse intellectual property enforcement staff, who brought in to sound off on whether the goods at issue were, in fact, counterfeits.
"The products, although very accurate in every detail, were not authentic. They were extremely well-made counterfeits," police said in a statement.
Per Reuters, "Police said they had pinpointed an individual in France's Loire region, who was at the center of the counterfeit scheme. He had registered the website in the Netherlands and was using a server located in England. The funds amassed as a result of the counterfeit operation were traced to a bank account in southern China in the Guangdong region and seized by authorities."