Fake items go up in flames

POSTED: 04/14/11 12:28 PM

St. Maarten / By Milton G Pieters – All that glitters is not gold and that is something all consumers on St Maarten have to bear in mind when they enter the various business establishments in and around the city of Philipsburg and its environs. While the authorities are ensuring that consumers get what they pay for, they are also making sure that St Maarten, which is a duty free port, does not turn into the hub of counterfeit merchandise and that merchants are deterred from conducting shady practices and save themselves from further embarrassment and litigation. To ensure that the confiscated items are taken off the market completely everything was destroyed by fire yesterday.

Last Thursday, hundreds of fake watches, which had an estimated retail value of between US $100, 000 dollars and $150, 000 dollars was pulverized. Wednesday’s burning targeted clothing and other accessories that that was deemed as replicas (fake) and is direct infringements of international copyright laws. Items were seized came from three stores on Front Street and one on Back Street.

Dickies, La Coste, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Playboy Enterprises, Abercrombie & Fitch, New Era caps, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Company, The Polo/Lauren Company, S.Tous, Adidas, Reebok, Christian Dior Couture, Converse, Hollister, Marc Jacobs and BLVGARI, are just some of the fake items that were destroyed.

“These items were confiscated at the same time with the watches that were destroyed last week and now that we have received permission we will go ahead and burn them. Many people will find it hard to see so many items has to be destroyed, but we cannot give them away. That is our policy. They were illegally manufactured,” said Karl R. Arndell, the Bailiff who supervised the burning of the items.

Consumers are advised to check prices as a means of spotting counterfeit. For example, a genuine Louie Vuitton hand bag will have a price tag of US $ 1,050.00 while genuine Lacoste hand bags cost between $70 dollars and $179 dollars. BLVGARI wallets for men will have a price tag between $129 dollars and $56 dollars. It’s simple even if you cannot tell the difference between the real and the fake item, you can tell the difference from the price tag, it’s as easy as ABC.

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