The black market for counterfeit sneakers has been dealt a big blow Today after Chinese authorities finally acted on twelve months-worth of investigative planning.
Mike DeStefano of Sole Collector quoted China.org.cn who first published the story for domestic audiences only. The report indicates that local police in the Chinese town of Bengbu were first informed of a counterfeit sneaker operation in their township, but were told to hold back on making any arrests until the cavalry was set up.
The conveyor belt of fake Converse footwear in Bengbu was only the first of many discoveries Chinese authorities between now and 2015. From there authorities were able to pinpoint illegal workshops in Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang, resulting in the arrest of four individuals believed to be holding the operation together.
From there, authorities ordered nine production lines destroyed, which included an additional of counterfeit Vans sneakers, made to resemble the American manufacturer's signature detailing. In all, 500,000 pairs of Converse and Vans sneakers were incinerated.
But it didn't stop there - the remaining local task forces who were instructed to "hold back" were next in line, destroying five more factories, and the arrest of seven more individuals responsible for their existence.