Brits heading to Spain this summer face £170 fine if spotted wearing fake Gucci

-Credit: (Image: MEN)
-Credit: (Image: MEN)

Spain is set to impose fines on tourists who purchase goods from unlicensed vendors in a new crackdown that could see bargain hunters missing out on the classic holiday knock-offs of premium brands. Undercover police officers will be patrolling the streets of Costa Blanca, issuing penalties to unsuspecting shoppers.

The popular holiday destination is taking action against illegal street sellers, who offer everything from trainers and sunglasses to fake 'designer' handbags and watches. Tourists are often lured by the extremely low prices, but those who buy these cheap souvenirs could now find themselves £170 poorer.

Plain-clothed police will be conducting patrols throughout the city during the peak summer holiday period, and individuals caught buying from unlicensed 'manteros' will be hit with immediate fines of up to €200 (equivalent to £170), reports Birmingham Live.

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These sellers are locally known in Spain as manteros or 'top mantas' because they typically display their goods on top of blankets spread out on the street. Recently, the Guardia Civil confiscated several tonnes of counterfeit products from a warehouse in Alicante intended for street sellers.

The mayor of Torrevieja, a bustling city on the Costa Blanca, has requested an increase in police presence this summer to enforce the rules. During the peak of summer, the city's population more than doubles to around 500,000, as reported by Alicante Today.

There are calls on Spain's Costa del Sol for stricter penalties for those who purchase from the so-called 'looky looky men'. These wandering street vendors, often seen peddling trinkets, clothing and counterfeit items to beachgoers in Spain, are frequently operating illegally without a licence.

The local Association of Traders and Businessmen alleges that legitimate shop owners in the coastal town of Benalmadena are losing between 20 and 30 per cent of their profits to these unlicensed sellers.