Philippines: Police Seize 84-Million Peso Worth of Fake Vuitton, Lacoste

Apr. 13, 2007


PNP seizes P84 million worth of LV and Lacoste fakes
Brings total haul of NCIPR to P3.3 billion

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted recently a back-to-back raid, and confiscated counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Lacoste items valued at more than P84 million. The newly created CIDG Anti-Economic Task Force directed the operation dubbed Oplan Mega Shoppers in Harrison Plaza Shopping Center in Manila and Market, Market Shopping Mall in Taguig. Close to P80 million worth of Louis Vuitton knockoffs were seized in 17 stalls inside Harrison Plaza while P4 million worth of fake Lacoste items were seized in seven stalls in Market, Market.

The PNP is a member agency of the National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR). Since its creation in 2005 to-date, the NCIPR has confiscated more than P3.3 billion worth of pirated goods. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) is the lead coordinating agency of the committee.

Police Senior Superintendent Noel delos Reyes, who led the task force on both raids, said, We are very concerned that there is a significant number of pirated goods openly sold inside large shopping malls. This is not helping the governments efforts to have the country removed from the US Trade Representatives watch list. delos Reyes is the executive officer of the CIDG Anti-Economic Task Force, and heads the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division (AFCCD) of the same group.

Upholding intellectual property rights is not only the responsibility of the agencies in the committee. It is the responsibility of everyone because it is a public interest, Atty. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., Director General of IP Philippines, said. Fake goods undermine legitimate businesses, dampens creativity and innovation, and even threaten the lives of consumers as in the case of counterfeit medicines and cosmetics, he added.

In a memorandum from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to NCIPR member agencies last year, one of her directives included ensuring that the contracts of lease that prohibit tenants from engaging in illegal activities in the mall such as selling pirated goods is enforced. In addition, mall owners can face criminal, civil or administrative liability.

The CIDG Anti-Economic Task Force has filed charges against owners and employees of the stalls where the fake products were seized. In Market, Market, Pacita Romero, Marife Barcenal, Jane Solano, Karen Retonio, Catherine Clarito, Lydia Toc and Ma. Teresita Palanas were arrested. Police investigators are still trying to locate Seigfred Abrera, the alleged organizer of the tiangge in Harrison Plaza, for questioning. They have likewise questioned the malls management regarding the illegal operation.

Aside from enforcement, the task force will embark on an awareness campaign for mall owners in a series of seminars that would help them identify fake brands.

For more information or to arrange for interviews, please contact Betty U. Regala,, (0906) 260-4175 or Trina G. Samaniego,, 752-5450 local 610 (telephone line), 890-4862 (facsimile line).

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