Italian police bust fake Ferrari racket
There has long been a market for fake Rolex watches, Prada bags and Louis Vuitton luggage. But how about a Ferrari for less than the price of a Ford Focus?
Police on Sicily have broken up a counterfeiting business with a difference. It was selling copies of the world's most dashing car - outwardly perfect, down to the prancing horse emblem on the bonnet - for as little as €20,000 (£15,300).
In raids as far afield as Asti in the north-west of Italy, revenue guards impounded seven finished "Ferraris" and another seven at various stages of construction. Fifteen people were charged with offences including criminal conspiracy, fraud, counterfeiting and handling stolen goods.
Francesco Carofiglio, the revenue guard commander in the province of Palermo, said the operation "was aimed at fantasists, because it is more likely a true fan would turn to the real product".
The buyers appeared to have known they were acquiring a fake, even though the log book they got described the vehicle as a "modified Ferrari". The prosecutors who oversaw the operation are considering whether the buyers too should face charges.
General Carofiglio acknowledged the gang had enabled its customers to "realise the dreams of a lifetime with very little money".
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