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Police arrest 600, seize $50 million in fake goods in Latin America

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The fake goods included everything from car parts to sneakers
  • More than 300 raids were conducted
  • Interpol launched the anti-counterfeiting operation in 2005

(CNN) -- Police have arrested 600 people and seized $50 million in fake goods in 13 Latin American nations, Interpol said Friday.

The counterfeited items include everything from satellite receivers and car parts to soft drinks and sneakers that were trafficked into markets. Authorities also seized toys that posed a threat to children's safety, Interpol said.

More than 300 raids were conducted at border checkpoints, seaports and commercial centers in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

"Interpol will continue to work with all of our member countries to target and dismantle the organized crime gangs behind counterfeits and fakes which not only pose a significant threat to the health and safety of consumers, but also effects national economies, which during these times of global financial crisis can have even more serious consequences," said Roberto Manriquez, manager for Operation Jupiter, an anti-counterfeiting project of Interpol.

Since Operation Jupiter's launch in 2005, authorities have seized $340 million in fake goods.