Published June 26, 2017

Chinese Police Seize Over 1 Million Fake Cosmetics

Have you bought goods by L'Oréal or Shiseido recently?

By Dan Entwistle


Reporters in Zhejiang yesterday uncovered that earlier this year local police busted an underground fake cosmetics operation worth an estimated ¥100 million.



Fakes for days


According to local reports, police seized over 1 million fake cosmetics and over 4 million incomplete fake goods all branded to look like products from L’Oréal, Shiseido and other reputable brands.



Mmm buckets of paint for your face


Police were allegedly tipped off to the operation in March this year by a major online retailer. Shortly after establishing an investigative taskforce, police discovered that a factory just north of the river in Dongyang city, Zhejiang was behind the fakes. “The company’s paperwork was all in order,” said a police spokesman. “They had registered employees and different departments and from the outside it looked like nothing more than a normal cosmetics factory that was following all the necessary regulations.”



Fake Etude packaging


While the company was indeed making their own goods, local reports also reveal that the factory was producing a huge range of fake cosmetics including lipstick, foundation and mascara all packaged and branded to look identical to goods produced by L’Oréal, ETUDE, NARS, Unilever, Clinique and more.



Nice 'n' hygienic 



Tubs of fake makeup


The police investigation also uncovered that the masterminds behind the operation, a husband and wife from Yiwu were unable to keep up with the demand for fakes and were sometimes forced to send the raw materials to different factories to help them produce their dodgy wares.



We don't want to know what this is


Police estimate that the couple began large-scale production of their fake goods in late 2015 or early 2016.  The fakes were mostly sent to Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries in that region. Given the difficulty of investigating there, Chinese police refused to comment on what happened to the goods once they reached their destination, although a police spokesperson did tell journalists that “it’s possible some of the goods came back to China.”



More fakes


In total police broke up 5 production lines, seized 18 production machines, arrested 6 suspects and seized over 5 million fake cosmetics in various stages of completion.  


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