Customs seize 5,000 phoney watches in Zurich

Swiss customs agents confiscated 1.3 tonnes’ worth of fake watches at Zurich international airport over a recent five-day period.

Customs seize 5,000 phoney watches in Zurich
Photo: Federal customs administration

The federal customs administration (FCA) said on Monday that the phoney timepieces were among 9,000 counterfeit luxury goods items seized at the Kloten airport at the end of August and at the beginning of September.

The objects, including fake handbags, sunglasses and scarves, were all shipped through the post from the same source in Greece, customs said.

The items were destined for addresses in Spain and Portugal.

The seizure, which involved around 5,000 watches, was one of the largest ever made involving postal trafficking in Switzerland, the FCA said.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) issued a statement congratulating customs authorities on the seizure.

“Counterfeiting is a serious problem for innovative Swiss industries and watchmaking is particularly hard hit,” the FH said.

“Economic losses resulting from counterfeiting are in the order of two billion francs ($2.21 billion) in Switzerland alone,” it said.

At a global level, the losses “add up to several hundred billion or more”.

The FH and its Anti-Counterfeiting Group said it is continuing activities against the phoney watch trade and annually seizes and destroys several hundred thousand watches.

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