Spain travel warning as UK tourists could be hit with on the spot £170 fines

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A new initiative in Spain is set to see tourists slapped with fines if they purchase goods from unlicensed vendors. Undercover police officers will be on the prowl in Costa Blanca, issuing penalties to unsuspecting holidaymakers.

The beloved holiday destination is taking a stand against illegal street sellers, who peddle everything from trainers and sunglasses to knock-off 'designer' handbags and watches. Tourists are often lured in by the bargain prices, but those who buy these cheap mementos could now find themselves £170 poorer.

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

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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 fake products from a warehouse in Alicante destined for street sellers.

The mayor of Torrevieja, a bustling city on the Costa Blanca, has called for an increase in police presence this summer to enforce the regulations. During the peak of summer, the city's population swells to around 500,000, as reported by Alicante Today, reports Birmingham Live.

There have been calls on Spain's Costa del Sol for stricter penalties against shoppers who purchase from the infamous '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 has claimed 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.