An Operation Called ‘Rebirth’ Just Dealt a Blow to Chinese Smugglers

April 19, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Spanish authorities made the country’s largest-ever seizure of counterfeit products when they intercepted 11 containers full of Chinese-made goods, as reported by Spanish media on April 14.

Over 309,000 counterfeit items worth an estimated 17.5 million Euros (about $18.8 million), were shipped last March from the port of Yantian in southern China. The goods were recently seized in the port of Algeciras by Spain’s Tax Agency in cooperation with the Civil Guard, a military police force.

Most of the counterfeited products were footwear, clothing, and electronics. Footwear, valued at 7.6 million euros, made up over 40 percent of the total shipment value. Electronics—hands-free systems, phone chargers, USB sticks, and the like—accounted for about 150,000 items.

Operation ‘Rebirth,’ being carried out by the Tax Agency and Civil Guards, are part of investigations that began last March when it was decided to open a few containers from China headed to Morocco, Senegal and Spain.

Since then, over 150 million euros’ worth of illicit goods have been seized by Spanish authorities under Operation Rebirth.

The Tax Agency specializes in investigating counterfeiting and piracy cases to combat the threat these crimes pose to the industrial sector.

In 2008, the Agency seized 231,000 counterfeit items, also in Algeciras.