Customs authorities in Malta have carried out their so far largest-ever seizure in a single raid action at Malta Freeport. In a total of 36 shipping containers, officials discovered hundreds of thousands of counterfeit clothing and electronics goods. The previously largest shipment of counterfeit goods seized consisted of only 15 containers.
Customs officers discovered the potential counterfeits with X-ray scans of the containers as the contraband had been hidden behind genuine items, says official information. In the first eight of the 36 suspicious containers alone, authorities seized almost 200,000 fake products. This includes over 91,000 fake mobile phone accessories as well as counterfeits of more than 51,000 clothing articles, around 52,000 shoes, and 750 video game controllers. Details on the contents of the remaining containers are still pending.
The Malta Freeport, located in the southeast of Malta, is one of the largest transshipment hubs for sea freight in the Mediterranean region. Since 2018, the island state is increasingly using mobile scanners and specially equipped facilities to check shipments, with the aim to inspect shipments more efficiently and to enable containers to flow more swiftly through the customs territory.
Malta ranks third in EU customs statistics of the countries with the highest number of counterfeits seized. The fake goods are often destined for onward transportation into other countries. In the current case, the goods came from Asia and were on their way to African countries.