One thousand counterfeit watches pulverized with asphalt roller

POSTED: 04/8/11 11:57 AM

St. Maarten – More than a thousand counterfeit watches with an estimated retail value of between $100,000 and $150,000 were destroyed under supervision of Bailiff Karl Arndell yesterday afternoon. At the yard of road builder MNO Vervat, an impressive 10-ton asphalt roller pulverized Breitlings, Tag Heuers, Rolexes, Patek Philippes, Cartiers and thirteen other big brand name watches.

The machine had to run over the merchandise several times, before the bailiff was satisfied with the result.

Arndell said that the watches were confiscated from two different stores on Front Street. The store-owners were each fined $5, 500.

The federation of the Swiss Watch Industry had asked the authorities in St. Maarten to act against retailers selling counterfeit watches. Earlier raids took place in Curacao and Aruba.

In Curacao, React, the European anti-counterfeiting network, was involved in a raid together with local customs officers whereby 180 brands of counterfeit fashion products were targeted. The raids netted 160 cubic meters of counterfeit merchandise.

Close to 65 armed customs officers, five public prosecutors and a judge took part in this raid.

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