Hermes ex-staff on trial for fake handbags for Japan
Two former Hermes employees are accused of making high-quality fakes and selling between 100 and 200 handbags along with belts to Japan for a total of EUR 17,000.Paris – Two former Hermes employees went on trial near Paris on Thursday for making crocodile handbags copied from the French luxury leader's designs and selling them to Japan.
The girlfriend of one of the employees and three Japanese nationals are also accused in the case in which between 100 and 200 handbags along with belts were sold to Japan for a total of EUR 17,000, lawyers said.
One of the employees, a craftsman who worked for Hermes for 15 years, used his expertise to make high-quality fakes, using some Hermes accessories and even buying leather from the luxury company's suppliers.
Police in 2004 uncovered workshops at the homes of the man's girlfriend and at that of the second employee.
A judge at the court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny requested that a Japanese national accused in the case be tried separately as there was no interpreter at the hearing on Thursday.
Two other Japanese nationals, for whom arrest warrants have been issued, did not show up for trial.
Hermes is seeking a total of EUR 3.5 million in damages from the defendants who allegedly ran the counterfeit ring from 2001 to 2004.
AFP / Expatica