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According to New York Magazine, cops raided the infamous Canal Street strip in Manhattan, NY, shutting down over 30 vendors and seizing perfumes, handbags, and other accessories imitating brands like Gucci, Tiffany, Chanel, Coach, Juicy Couture, and Cartier. The raid was prompted by a private investigation by companies being knocked off by the counterfeiters who openly sell the fake products on the strip, referred to as “China Town.”

Apparently, much of the business that China Town attracts was traced back to buyers who come all the way from the southern states to purchase the illegal goods in the heavily concentrated knockoff-shopping area. Southern shoppers buy the counterfeit merchandise in bulk, then carry it back as far as North Carolina, where they arrange “purse parties” to resell the product.

In addition, the companies investigating the issue raise the point that the buildings housing the counterfeit vendors are often unsafe and below acceptable building standards, thus hazardous to unsuspecting buyers. The article states that:

The seized merchandise was turned over to a judge before authorities investigated the buildings themselves. A division in the mayor’s office is in charge of overseeing “quality of life issues,” and places where counterfeit items are sold fall under their purvey. So really Coach just wants to keep us all safe this holiday season from musty basements and Canal Street’s general seediness.

“It’s not uncommon to go down there and see repeat customers,” Dougherty said. “We’ve seen [license] plates from as far away as Carolina.”

He adds that this is why closing down counterfeit vendors is important — these customers could travel across state lines to their homes to distribute the bags in purse parties. The last thing this city needs to be facilitating are purse parties in one of the Carolinas.

Who knew that there was a counterfeit sales ring stretching as far as the dirty south?! How many of YOU have participated in such events as “purse parties?”

Read more about yesterday’s bust here.

Check out this gallery to see celebs wearing the real thing:

Real Or Knockoff? Study Says We Judge By Overall Look

GLAM OR GROSS? Rocawear Copies Gucci

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