UK tourists in Spain to be hit with on the spot £170 fines for breaking shopping rules

British expats and tourists walk past English bars in Benalmadena, Spain
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Tourists visiting Spain's Costa Blanca could face fines if they purchase goods from unlicensed street vendors, as part of a new crackdown. Undercover police officers will be on patrol, issuing penalties to unsuspecting shoppers.

The popular holiday destination is taking action against illegal street sellers, who offer a range of items including trainers, sunglasses, and counterfeit 'designer' accessories. Despite the allure of low prices, tourists who buy these inexpensive souvenirs could end up £170 poorer.

Plain-clothed police will be active throughout the peak summer holiday season, with on-the-spot fines of up to €200 (around £170) for those caught buying from unlicensed 'manteros'.

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These vendors, known locally as manteros or 'top mantas', typically display their goods on blankets in the street. Recently, the Guardia Civil confiscated several tonnes of counterfeit products intended for street sale from a warehouse in Alicante.

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

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There have been calls on Spain's Costa del Sol for stricter penalties against shoppers 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.