Officials seized almost 9,000 fake brand-name items during a raid at Prague’s Vietnamese market, Sapa, this week, a customs official confirmed on Friday. According to the calculations, the items represented potential losses equalling a total of almost 14 million crowns (the equivalent of just under 540,000 euros). Fake goods seized carried the logos of a number of international brands including Adidas, Gucci, Ray-Ban and Rolex.
Czech police are hunting for a former top banker who is suspected of selling forged painting to a series of VIP clients. Police believe the former banker, who used to deal with VIP clients at Komerční Banka, has probably fled abroad. He is believed by police to have successfully sold modern paintings valued at at least 30 million crowns and was in the process of selling more, with a value of around 53 million, with another 40 million crowns of paintings in stock for later deals. Among those duped by the banker is the Czech actress Jiřina Bohdalová. Police say the suspected con man was last spotted in Istanbul with latest reports suggesting he might be in Fiji.
The Czech government should refuse the requirement of the European Commission to label the goods from the Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the Golan Heights, the lower house of the Czech Parliment said in a resolution on Thursday. According to the Culture Minister Daniel Herman of the Social Denocratic Party, it was necessary to reject efforst leading to the discrimination against Israel. The EU does not recognise Israel's presence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, and says the labelling policy aims to distinguish between goods produced inside the internationally accepted borders of Israel and those made outside.
The Assay Office has warned the public against shopping for gold, silver and precious stones on e-shops that are not registered with the office. It says moreover that apart from possible financial losses there is a possible health risk, since jewelry from Asia has been found to contain toxic metals such as cadmium. The Assay Office said that in 2014 it had issued 300 fines to the tune of 2.5 million crowns.
The Czech police’s anti-corruption unit has uncovered counterfeit gold bars in an investigation into VAT fraud of almost CZK 500,000. A spokesperson said more information on the case would be made public at a news conference on Wednesday. The police – who have uncovered the workshop where they were produced – are hoping that drawing attention to the matter will alert people who may have purchased the faked gold bars, which only experts can tell apart from the real thing; they come with certificates and weigh the same as real gold bars.
Czech police in December arrested members of an organised network, which has allegedly been importing counterfeit 500 euro banknotes in the Czech Republic. According to the police, the money was forged in Bulgaria and distributed in the Czech Republic and other EU states. Spokesman of the Czech Police's Organised Crime Unit Pavel Hanták said on Friday that the group produced 90 percent of all fake 500 euro banknotes seized in the Czech Republic last year. Nine members of the group, including one Czech national, were charged with counterfeiting so far. If found guilty, they are facing up to 12 years in prison.
Police and customs officials on Tuesday raided several dozen stalls at the open-air market in the town of Aš on the Czech-German border. Some two hundred officers searched the grounds for fake goods and drugs in what is reported to be one biggest raids on an open air market in years. Twelve salespeople were detained for questioning.
The number of counterfeit Czech bank notes and coins seized last year dropped dramatically by just over 1500 to total just over 2000, the Czech National Bank announced on Wednesday. Their value of around 1.8 billion crowns was around half that of the haul in 2012. But the number of forged foreign bank notes and coins increased slightly to just over 1,000 with their value almost doubling from 2012 to 4.3 billion crowns, the bank said.
In Business News this week: household energy prices to fall markedly in New Year; poll find most firms have experience of dodgy tenders; percentage of part-time job rises – but still lags EU; Czech e-tailers mark Black Friday; more shops selling fake goods, say inspectors; and 4 percent of Czechs don’t possess mobile.