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Rome's Financial Guard Uncovers Counterfeit Shoes

The warehouse contained 57,000 pairs of fake Nike, Adidas and Hogan shoes worth about 1.4 million euros.

FINDING FAKES: Over the holidays, Rome’s Financial Guard uncovered a warehouse containing 57,000 pairs of fake Nike, Adidas and Hogan shoes worth about 1.4 million euros, or about $2 million at current exchange, the Italian financial police said. The Fiumicino branch of the Guard discovered the illegal operation after following a car with a Bulgarian license plate on the Milan-Naples highway.

“From the early stages of the investigation, it emerged that the warehouse was connected to four people — three Moroccans and a Chinese citizen — probably the intermediate link in a distribution chain run by organized crime leaders on the outskirts of Naples,” the Financial Guard said. All four have been arrested and charged with possession of stolen goods and the import and storage of counterfeit merchandise.

On Tuesday, Il Messaggero, a daily newspaper based in Rome, reported that the fake shoes were now being distributed to residents of Sardinia, which was hit hard by floods in November and continues to struggle in the aftermath.