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Luxury bag brand Hermès catch staff collaborating with international counterfeit crime ring.

hermes france_18_06_12Hermès staff are caught in on the act of aiding fake luxury bag production after the discovery of a French workshop filled with luxe materials. Label executives are worried about the continued underground production of the bags on an international scale.

With Hermès bags priced in the realm of several thousand of pounds it’s not surprising that there has been a knock off or two on the block. As the everyday handbag lusting woman is not on the salary of Victoria Beckham or Beyoncé – noted fans and carriers of the label – illicit companies have been known to copy and cheaply produce look-a-likes of the iconic Kelly and Birkin bags.

So far, so predictable. Until the companies in question failed to cover up their illegal crafts. (Not every bag crook on the scene is as savvy as the street sellers seen in Tenerife, and other budget bag hungry tourist destinations). Indeed, the French police has uncovered a crime ring of fake Hermès bag-makers of international proportions. A dozen people were subsequently arrested last Thursday in a drastic attempt to shut down the movement

Adding to the shock factor was Hermès’ dismissal of two employees for their reported involvement. The luxe brand are still worried about the loyalty of their current staff.

While the workshop recently discovered was filled with precious leather skins of enormous value, the bust follows a ruling in April in which Hermès was awarded approximately £63 million after winning their case against 34 counterfeit websites.

‘This operation concludes a one-year investigation following a Hermès complaint based on clues and abnormal behaviour identified through the house’s internal monitoring systems,’ Hermès stated.

With Hermès chief executive officer Patrick Thomas estimating that eighty percent of objects sold on the Internet under the Hermès name are fakes, the label are making every effort to cut down counterfeiting. Commenting on the statistic, Thomas maintained it was ‘an absolute disgrace’.

Picture credit: © Charles Jean Marc/Corbis Sygma

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