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Counterfeit cosmetics in France: customs officers uncover illegal manufacturing facility

By Lucy Whitehouse + , 10-Jan-2017
Last updated on 10-Jan-2017 at 10:59 GMT2017-01-10T10:59:10Z

Counterfeit cosmetics in France: customs officers uncover illegal manufacturing facility

In a discovery described as “exceptional and unprecedented”, investigators from the National Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (DNRED) in France have uncovered a laboratory dedicated to the production of counterfeit cosmetics.

The facility was found in the region of Seine-et-Marne, according to a report on the government’s customs website , following several weeks of investigation.

It was operating with a dual-purpose: it manufactured, under its own brand, cosmetic products intended for export, and also manufactured items that were sold in French pharmacies. Products included body and facial skin care products.

The DNRED also uncovered two related storage facility under a second company, used for the storage and shipping of the counterfeit items, one located in the same region and the other in Calvados.

This is an exceptional and unprecedented case, not only because it is a laboratory with dual activity, but also because the place of manufacture of these cosmetic products was located on the national territory,” the DNRED asserts in its statement.

Extent of the operation

The first storage facility uncovered was found to be holding nearly 45,000 counterfeit products and an equivalent number of packaging items, including tubes, bottles, small pots and capsules.

The second, in Calvados, was found to be holding nearly 17,000 other counterfeit cosmetics and 50,000 empty containers.

A suspect, the person in charge of these storage facilities, has been arrested by investigators and the judicial follow-up has been handed over to the National Judicial Customs Service.

The DNRED notes that in 2015, customs in France intercepted a huge 7.7 million counterfeit products.

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