All those Chinese "tourists" you see lined up in front of stores in Paris are not just buying something to show off when they return home. An English translation of a Chinese website reported that law enforcement authorities in Paris have arrested six individuals, all Chinese nationals, all engaged in the local purchase and resale in China of high-end luxury goods, for the purpose of laundering the proceeds of narcotics crime. The individuals allegedly were involved in more than the equivalent of more than USD$5m in purchases.
Lest you think that they were simply making profits on their purchases of five-figure handbags, expensive diamond jewelry, and other luxury goods that consumers acquire in pricey shops on Faubourg St Honoré, and other Parisian boulevards, these people had counterfeit passports. The "purchases" were shipped, or hand-delivered, to China, where the local demand brings them handsome profits, and those retail sales effectively clean the dirty money used to purchase the Vuitton, Gucci and other very expensive items.
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