The trail of the fake Venetian Glass is simple:
- the Chinese replica glass is imported to Northern Italy
- the "Made In China" labels are removed and fraudulent "Made in Italy/Murano" stickers applied
- the bogus glass is then brought into Venice for sale through the importers newly acquired shops
- local shops that deal in Authentic Murano Glass attempt to warn tourists of the scam by placing signs in their windows and posting notices
- the suspect shops continue to flourish
Corriere della Sera article 25.06.10
MAJOR POLICE RAID IN LAGOON – THREE LOCAL BUSINESSES INVOLVED
Eastern wiles: Murano glass 'Made in China'. Eleven million artifacts confiscated
VENICE – Murano Glass. The famous hallmark of 'the island of glass' you find on vases, drinking glasses, murrine and other objects. But these came from the other side of the world, more exactly, China. This the real point of origin for artifacts at rock-bottom prices, due to exploited labour, sold down the line as 'genuine', and at Italian market rates, though heavily 'discounted', to con buyers into thinking they have a bargain. No surprises here, but the new departure is that yesterday the Guardia di Finanzia (Financial Police) inflicted a severe blow on the fraudsters, catching three local firms, two in Murano, one in Jesolo, red-handed. The operation netted no less than 11 million counterfeit objects, from larger pieces down to basic necklaces and pendants, in economic terms some 13 million euros wholesale value. The suspicions of the Finanzia, in this operation in defense of the 'Made in Italy' trademark, were initially aroused by too-good-to-be-true retail prices, 'discounts' of up to 50%, in relation to the objects apparently being offered for sale. Subsequently, police searches revealed conclusive evidence: rubbish sacks containing millions of 'Made in China' stickers removed from the merchandise.
The names of the firms involved are Linea Arte Vetro and Murano Centre on that island, and Angels in Venice, from Jesolo along the coast. The last-named had perfected a system for placing the fake glass works in a chain of shops in the centre of Venice itself. They would buy from two other Venetian importers glass objects manufactured in the People's Republic properly marked 'Made in China', and recycle them, with the foreign labels replaced by others bearing their own name, not omitting 'Venice' of course. The MD has now been charged with 'Commercial fraud relating to the sale of falsely described industrial products'.
In the case of the Murano businesses, the deceit resembled the Three-Card-Trick, genuine indigenous articles were mixed together with imports in their showrooms, either without identifying information, or labeled 'Murano'. One of the two, having its own glass-blowing workshop, also sold, indiscriminately, its own product confusing the unwary tourist still further. As at Jesolo, the matter is now in the hands of the public prosecutor. And on Murano there was a further offense of employing three illegal workers. Praise for the operation came from the Murano Promotional Association and also from Veneto president Luca Zaia, a convinced 'Made in Italy' campaigner: “It's our duty,” he said, “to support legitimate enterprises and top-quality production. Genuine Murano Glass is a symbol of quality both for the Veneto and for Italy as a whole.”
Corriere della Sera
LINK to Original Article