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France

Thousands of mini Eiffel towers seized as police target illegal street vendors

Wikimedia Commons

A police operation in the French capital against illicit street vendors has netted 270 tonnes of miniature Eiffel towers. Four people were arrested as part of a campaign to rid the streets of Paris of thousands of illegal vendors selling tourist souvenirs. 

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The four people arrested, all Chinese nationals, were operating from a shop in the centre of the capital and were supplying merchandise to around 100 illicit vendors.

During a raid on a suburban warehouse, police also discovered 300 tonnes of merchandise including the Eiffel towers which had been imported from China.

Illegal street vending in France carries of maximum six-month jail sentence and a 3,750 euros fine.

A police source said the aim of the operation is to dismantle supply networks as well as fight against the vendors.

During March and September 2011, 4,000 illegal street vendors were detained including 1,200 who were taken into custody.
 

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