Moscow's Vietnamese vendors protest against confiscation of their counterfeit wares

Nearly 2,000 Vietnamese vendors took part in an unauthorized meeting in the north of Moscow on Saturday, protesting against confiscation of their counterfeit wares. According to an official of the Moscow's Chief Administration for Internal Affairs (GUVD), the meeting was provoked by the locally-based Vietnamese vendors and businessmen who had a good deal of their counterfeit merchandise confiscated during a special operation carried out overnight by the Moscow police department for combating economic crimes. The meeting took place in the Ogorodny Proyezd, a locality where numerous warehouses storing the illegal goods are situated. According to GUVD, early in the morning the number of protesters did not exceed 500 people. By noon, however, their ranks expanded to as many as 1,500-2,000 people. As a result, Moscow law-enforcement authorities sent extra police force and OMON (riot police) units to the scene to ensure public order in the area. After representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Moscow who urgently arrived at Ogorodny Proyezd had talked to the protesters, the meeting broke up and its participants went home.

The GUVD official told RIA Novosti that the police had not registered any violations of public order in the course of the unauthorized meeting. There have been no arrests or detentions. He stressed that the counterfeit merchandise (mostly clothes) had been confiscated in the course of a specially planned police operation aimed to ensure enforcement of the current RF legislation.