The biggest nation in Latin America and the world’s seventh largest economy, Brazil has figured for several years on the FH list of countries which are priority targets in the fight against counterfeiting.
Raids have been organized there regularly by the authorities for more than ten years, primarily in the "25 de Março" zone of São Paulo where counterfeit products are easiest to find. Efforts made in recent years are beginning to yield results because the FH investigators have seen a distinct fall in the number of counterfeit Swiss watches on offer.
In 2016, two years after organizing the World Football Cup, Brazil enjoyed prominence once again on the international scene when it hosted the summer Olympic Games. As the event which benefits from wider coverage by the world media than any other, the Olympics also attract a large number of tourists from all over the world.
This massive influx of tourists is an ideal opportunity for local counterfeiters who see them all as potential customers. During events of this kind, counterfeit products are generally on more prominent display, both in the vicinity of the stadiums and at the main points of interest in the city. An operation to prevent counterfeiting was therefore logically organized to protect the interests of FH members.
Unfortunately, despite the insistence of the FH appointed agents, these raids could not take place immediately before the opening of the Olympics as had been planned initially. The fact is that the Brazilian police forces are desperately short of manpower. In view of the public security challenges which are very real at the opening of the games and obviously take priority for the authorities, intervention unfortunately proved impossible.
However, the FH agents did not lose heart and a first batch was seized at Belo Horizonte in early autumn. Then just before Christmas, another favourable period because stocks are generally high at that time of the year, a second raid took place in São Paulo. In all, just under 1,500 counterfeit watches were impounded.
March 16, 2017