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2.28.2008

nyc cracks down on chinatown "counterfeit triangle"

This week in New York, city investigators raided dozens of storefronts on a triangular block in Chinatown—the "Counterfeit Triangle"—in a major seizing of fake brand goods: City Raids 'Counterfeit Triangle,' Shutting 32 Storefronts. As part of the investigation, 42 undercover purchases were made in various storefronts, uncovering counterfeits of such brands as Coach, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbanna, Dior, Prada, Rolex, Fendi, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Dora the Explorer and Oakley—with an estimated street value of more than $1 million. The stores will be padlocked, and in addition to the stores selling counterfeit goods, an illegal massage parlor was closed and illegal signs were removed. Everyone feels much safer already.

Okay, I get it. Bootlegging is against the law, and counterfeit goods ultimately do have a negative impact on the economy. I understand this. But who are they really fooling in trying characterize this as anything other than a glorified public relations stunt? Complete with a photo op of Mayor Bloomberg holding up an official "CLOSED" sign. They appease a few high-end brand companies and present the illusion to the public that the city is cracking down on this society-plaguing criminal enterprise that "lowered the quality of life in the area." Meanwhile, Chinatown pretty much comes off looking like a den of sin. All you need is an opium den or two, and we're set.