. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reebok Puts Foot Down Over Fakes

At the behest of U.S. footwear company Reebok, Moscow police this week burned thousands of fake shoes seized from a Bulgarian supplier and gave away others to the needy, officials said Thursday.

Reebok private investigators tipped off the police to the fakes, which were seized in recent weeks from local warehouses and stores, said Howard Dozier, Reebok's area manager for intellectual property matters.

Dozier estimated the retail value of the Chinese-produced shoes at $110,000. Overall, he said, about 46,000 pairs of fake Reeboks have been seized in Russia in the last year and a half, but that amount was only a fraction of the total that costs the company millions of dollars a year.

Reebok did not seek financial compensation from the Bulgarian company, Simaund, but instead received the names and addresses of the Chinese suppliers of the fake shoes, Dozier said.

Yury Sichev of the Moscow militia economic crime unit said 1,500 pairs of running shoes were burned Tuesday in an open fire in the city of Krasnoarmeisk in the Moscow region. The other 5,000 were given to orphanages, he said.

The incident is the latest in a string of actions by Russian authorities, pressed by Western suppliers, to crack down on counterfeit products. Several pirate software companies have been targeted in police raids.