17.233 pairs of shoes seized during a raid in Prague


On the 2nd of August 2016 a successful raid action took place at the SAPA market in the Czech Republic. SAPA, formerly the largest Vietnamese open-air market slowly transformed into a wholesale centre with showrooms offering all types of goods. SAPA is currently believed to be the largest business centre in Central Europe offering Asian goods. It has large warehouses nearby where the goods are stored.

The raid was initiated after a border seizure in Germany with a request to monitor the address of the sender in Prague. After the initial investigation a test purchase was made by REACT. They then discovered the large scale of the operation and the huge amounts of goods being offered.

The raid was organised with great support from local customs who reacted immediately and were able to organize the raid at very short notice. Due to the large scale of the assumed infringing goods, customs from 5 other districts were asked to help with the raid. A total of 55 customs officers participated in the raid.

The raid started at the Vietnamese business area at SAPA, with 8 locations, and continued to the warehouses where we suspected the goods were being stored. After searching the huge warehouses (some the size of several football fields), thousands of infringing goods were found.

Initially two types of infringing shoes were thought to be stored at the warehouse, but many other brands were discovered. The total amount of seized goods is believed to be around 17 233 pairs of shoes, with the estimated damage to right holders believed to be at least 1,5 million euro.

All goods will be destroyed and the infringers will have criminal charges brought against them.