February 13, 2010 / 3:47 AM / 9 years ago

China arrests former boss of fakes market

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have arrested the former general manager of a clothing market in Beijing which is notorious for selling counterfeits of well-known international brands, state media said on Saturday.

Piracy of everything from computer software to DVDs and handbags has been a major irritant in China’s relations with the United States and the European Union.

Despite repeated crackdowns and vows to get tough, counterfeit goods are still widely available in China, the world’s third-largest economy.

Police have arrested the one-time head of Beijing’s Silk Market, a popular place for locals and tourists alike, “for allegedly selling counterfeit goods with registered trademarks including Louis Vuitton bags,” state news agency Xinhua said.

Louis Vuitton bags are especially popular in China as a status symbol of wealth, even the knock-off ones.

Xinhua, citing city prosecutors, said Wang Zilin would also face charges of taking bribes.

“Wang, together with a security official and a businessmen, invested 400,000 yuan ($58,550) aiming to sell fake brand-name bags bearing the Louis Vuitton trademark from the end of 2007,” the report said.

“Wang also allegedly received 70,000 yuan in bribes from a businessman ... who allegedly bribed Wang in getting to use underground storehouses for counterfeit goods,” it added.

Wang “left his job” last July, and was captured in the northern city of Hohhot in December, Xinhua said.

($1=6.832 Yuan)

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sugita Katyal

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