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Counterfeit Auto Parts Bust in Italy . A new problem created by Auto crisis



We often talk about counterfeiting related to the fashion industry, but the shortage of demand and the crisis are creating another sector of counterfeit products that is even more pejorative: a counterfeit auto parts industry is emerging

The production lines were in two major Turin plants in the industry. From there, car parts were coming out that were passed off as originals, bearing the trademarks of well-known automakers. Too bad they were fakes. We are not talking about small, improvised artisans, but large companies that until yesterday actually produced high-quality pieces

The operation

Military officers from the Provincial Command of the Guardia di Finanza, Italian special police for finance and economics,  in Turin have completed a vast operation to combat counterfeiting in the automotive sector, seizing about 500,000 fake parts, as well as numerous machines and molds used for illicit production. The investigation, carried out by the Turin Economic and Financial Police Nucleus under the coordination of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, was initially conducted through in-depth investigations to databases available to the Corps as well as through stakeout and observation activities.

The supply chain

The police thus reconstructed the entire production and commercial chain, allowing them to identify, in addition to the companies producing the parts, numerous companies dedicated to distribution and sales, including through e-commerce platforms. Searches were carried out throughout the country, especially in Campania, Calabria, Puglia, Basilicata, Lombardy and Tuscany.

The counterfeiting

The counterfeit parts, rims, badges, ornamental elements and bodywork tuning, were produced in industrial warehouses in the province of Turin, inside of which 13 lines were discovered, fully operational and professional, consisting of various machines for stamping, pressing, painting, screen printing and pad printing of the manufactured products.

The seizure

The lines were seized as well as 28 industrial machines and 449 molds. During the search, the military also identified a “hidden” storage area used by one of the companies involved, where space of more than 700 square meters had been rented to store counterfeit parts made as well as wheel covers intended for illicit branding. As a result, the service operation, as a whole, led to the identification and seizure of approximately 500 thousand spare parts and the entire production lines of the 2 aforementioned Turin factories (causing their illicit processing to cease), with an estimated commercial value of over 8 million euros.

The charges

A total of 20 individuals are being investigated for the crimes of manufacturing and trading in counterfeit products, with the aggravating circumstance of having committed them systematically and through the setting up of organized means and activities, and receiving stolen goods.

Who is really responsible

This particular crime is a consequence of the crisis in the auto industry in Europe and Italy in particular. The companies that produced the fakes until yesterday produced parts and components for cars that were assembled in Turin. Spellantis virtually destroyed the auto industry in Italy, leaving these companies without jobs.

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