The amount of counterfeit goods intercepted by Italian customs authorities at Romes Fiumicino airport and other arrival points in Lazio has risen by 1,300 per cent over the last two years. Despite the record seizures, many more millions of bogus designer bags, pairs of sunglasses, other clothes and apparel make it to the lucrative Rome market. Between 1 January and 31 October 2005 Romes guardia di finanza (customs police) seized some 2.7 million fakes, at a rate of 9,000 per day, arresting 1,200 unlicensed street-hawkers in the process. According to Giuseppe Zafrana, the guardias provincial commander in Rome, the phenomenon is much more serious than previously thought. Behind the trafficking of counterfeit goods there is a network of organisations ready and willing to recycle the profits, even in arms and drugs. These goods arrive from South-East Asia and often pass into the hands of the camorra before reaching the market, he said.
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