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28-09-08, 18:23
talian police bust Chinese toxic shoe imports

Posted Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:42am AEST

Italian police say they have confiscated some 1.7 million counterfeit shoes made with leather containing illegal toxins, most of them from China.

Operation Toxic Shoes, which began in May, has captured 21 Chinese and seven Italians who are now being prosecuted for selling counterfeit products and threatening public health, a police spokesman says.

Shoes containing hexavalent chromium compounds, which are illegal in Italy due to their high toxicity and potentially carcinogenic effect, were seized in Tuscany, police say.

A police unit responsible for financial crimes seized counterfeit imports which were mostly made in China but were labelled as "real leather" and "made in Italy".

More than $35 million of merchandise was seized in one of Tuscany's largest sweeps in recent years.

The operation led to 45 searches including in three other Italian regions outside Tuscany.

- AFP