This past Wednesday, customs officers in China announced the bust of a gigantic camera smuggling operation and the arrest of 14 suspects connected with the illegal transportation of $63.5 million worth of camera equipment. The smuggling ring has allegedly smuggled 60,204 cameras, 13,623 lenses, 483 flashes, 1,025 video cameras, and 348 projectors. Since camera equipment is much cheaper to buy in Hong Kong — 20% to 30% less — smugglers profit by sneaking the gear into mainland China (avoiding customs taxes in the process) and selling it through the gray market.
Police in England recently raided a Bowdon house to find 22,000 fake camera cases worth an estimated £500,000.
Messenger Newspapers reports that the cases were branded as Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax and Kodak. A 40-year-old man at the residence was also taken into custody.
His downfall came when Canon discovered the counterfeit bags being sold online and conducted a number of “sting” purchases, passing on the information they discovered to authorities.
Something else that caught our eye about this story was that the police also discovered counterfeit camera lenses at the residence. All of us have obviously heard of fake bags before, but counterfeit lenses? I’d like to see one of those.
(via Imaging Insider)
Image credit: Camera case by Peter Hellberg