Police swoop in on Barcelona shop selling Harry Potter fakes

Spain’s Guardia Civil dismantled a massive operation that produced and sold fake Disney and Warner Bros brands, including dozens of items relating to the Harry Potter franchise.

Police swoop in on Barcelona shop selling Harry Potter fakes
Everything in the shop was fake merchandise.

A Barcelona shop which supplied the kind of products Harry Potter readers might expect to find in Diagon Alley was raided by police last week for exclusively selling knock-off copies from China.

Gryffindor house scarves were on sale beside Ravenclaw banners and a glass case offered up a selection of wands that could have come straight from Ollivander’s wand shop itself.

But an investigation by a fiscal and borders team from the Guardia Civil discovered all the products offered in the shop were counterfeit, although they were being sold as official merchandise with a price tag to match.4

“This raid was part of a wider operation against fake goods which are arriving by sea and other routes mostly from China and being sold in Spain,” said a spokesman from the Guardia Civil.

The raid on February 27resulted in the seizure of 9,592 counterfeit products with an estimated sale price of more than €300,000.

The owner of the shop, a 38-year-old woman with Spanish citizenship, has been arrested.




Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

Spanish authorities have deported a Moroccan Muslim activist who has lived in the country since he was ten, after accusing him of being one of the "main advocates" of the Salafist movement of ultra-conservative Islamism in Spain.

Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

The 40-year-old was deported to Morocco on Saturday morning after he was held for several weeks at a deportation centre in Barcelona, a police source told AFP.

Officers arrested Mohamed Said Badaoui last month in the northeastern province of Tarragona, where he was the president of the Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Muslim Community.

A Spanish court in late October approved his deportation due to “his participation in activities contrary to national security” and “public order”.

Spanish police consider Badaoui to be “one of the main advocates in Spain of the most orthodox Salafism, which he preaches so influentially that an increase in radicalism occurred in Tarragona” since he moved there, according to its ruling.

Badaoui arrived in Spain at the age of ten from Morocco and has lived in the Catalan city of Reus for 30 years, where he has a wife and three children.

Police also accused him of “taking advantage” of the “vulnerability” of minors who arrive in Spain without their parents, “mainly of Moroccan origin”, to indoctrinate them in the “most radical Salafism,” which promotes a strictly conservative lifestyle.

Badaoui has rejected these accusations. Well-known in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia where he has lived for nearly three decades, he presents himself as an activist and anti-racism campaigner.

He has been supported by Catalonia’s main separatist parties which govern the region as well as by the regional branch of far-left party Podemos, the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s coalition government.