Police seize Eiffel Tower trinkets
Published 11/11/2011 | 08:16
Police in Paris say they have seized nearly 300 tonnes of contraband souvenirs - mostly miniature Eiffel Towers - in a crackdown against illegal vendors.
Officers announced the arrest of four Chinese citizens who ran a shop in central Paris supplying souvenirs to street vendors.
These vendors fan out daily across the capital without being registered with the city, as required.
A subsequent raid in a warehouse north of Paris turned up more than 20,000 boxes, nearly all of them containing "Made in China" Eiffel Tower souvenirs.
Police say illegal vending cuts sales by authorised souvenir vendors by half.
Illegal street vendors can regularly be spotted near Paris tourist hotspots, often fleeing police while carrying bundled blankets filled with souvenirs over their shoulders.