Approximately, one million counterfeit Swiss watches were seized in 2016, and the same number of internet advertisements for them removed.
The majority of fake watches were confiscated in China, Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) told the Swiss News Agency on Tuesday. However, that does not mean other counterfeiting hubs do not exist. For example, 130,000 fakes were seized in Turkey, 70,000 in Dubai and 9,000 in Russia.
The trend for fake watches appears to correspond to that of other fake goods like bags, jewellery and shoes. In 2015, Hong Kong and China accounted for 80% of all intercepted fake goods shipments to Switzerland by post. Turkey was the leading destination from where travellers brought fake goods into Switzerland, accounting for around 40% of all traffic.
The FH has also stepped up its monitoring of the internet and social media networks for dubious advertisements for fakes. According to Pasche, over a million such ads were removed. It has also trained authorities in vulnerable spots like Dubai, London’s Heathrow airport, San Francisco, Nice, Lisbon, Brussels, Prague, and Athens to spot fakes.
Members of the public can also report cases of fake watch sales on the FH website.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/a.c