LOCAL POLICE in Marbella are cracking on with the promised blitz on the hawking of counterfeit clothing, handbags, and other products on the city’s streets, as the first phase of the offensive draws to a close.
The campaign was launched on May 31, as councillors decided that enough is enough following a fiery meeting with local businesses, and police chief, Jose Andres Montoya, has now presented the results obtained thus far to the city hall.
Much of the clampdown has focused on Puerto Banus, but the web of justice will now be expanded into other areas following a clean sweep of the swanky, boutique-laden port.
Between June 28 and July 3 a total of 60 peddlers of bogus items were approached, with 3,881 items seized, two arrests resulting from a case where a search warrant was involved and an incident during which an officer received a clobbering.
The operation was conducted in three steps, the first determining where the vendors were operating, and the second involving their confiscation, both of which employed plainclothes officers.
The third phase will now take place, during which a reduced number of patrols will be employed to ensure the problem does not return.
A delighted Javier Porcuna, Citizen Security Councillor said: “It is clear that now there are no illegal vendors in Puerto Banus.”
Efforts will now concentrate on the seafront promenade, which has already seen an increase in hawkers following the initial onslaught, as the police attempt to wipe the ‘looky looky’ menace off the local map.
Montoya explained that the operation is “innovative,” because it has used plain-clothes officers to close down distribution points rather than focusing on individual vendors, with products being handed out at bus stops or in car parks.