Photograph courtesy of Unsplash by way of VN Specific

A Frenchman dubbed “the prince of faux” stands accused of orchestrating a sprawling community that flooded France with counterfeit watches.

Admitting to masterminding the operation from Thailand, Julien V confessed to overseeing the manufacturing of as much as 10 counterfeit watches day by day, predominantly knock-offs of the celebrated Swiss model Rolex, culminating in a staggering turnover of three million euros (117 million baht) between 2019 and 2022, earlier than his apprehension.

Nevertheless, revelations from watch professional Michel Vittini counsel the dimensions of deception could also be far larger, with estimates suggesting the Frenchman offloaded at the very least 50,000 counterfeit Rolexes, some just about indistinguishable from the real articles. Astonishingly, Julien V boasted of tailoring his replicas to perfection, asserting he may craft timepieces fully actual, or fully pretend, tailor-made exactly to buyer choice.

The attract of those high-quality fakes even drew the eye of Swiss watchmakers, prompting them to deploy personal investigators to unmask the operation, in line with French media experiences.

Julien V’s modus operandi was refined. He performed enterprise discreetly, accepting orders by way of WhatsApp and circumventing French customs by routing shipments by means of Germany earlier than smuggling them into France by way of the porous border shared by the 2 nations.

On the coronary heart of this illicit enterprise lies the Frenchman’s staggering wealth. Born in Good in 1994, the previous pizza deliveryman claims to have amassed a fortune by the age of 25, boasting a cryptic stash of 4 million euros in bitcoin, a fleet of luxurious automobiles together with a Lamborghini, and a portfolio of properties in Thailand.

But, behind the glitz and glamour lies an internet of complicity. Co-defendant Florian R, a reseller in Julien V’s community, revealed the inside workings of the scheme, disclosing how he procured pretend Rolexes for 200 euros and offered them for 400 euros, reported VN Specific.

Because the trial unfolds, Julien V, now dealing with off in opposition to authorized adversaries representing half a dozen Swiss luxurious watchmakers, maintains his innocence, selecting to signify himself in courtroom. The decision is scheduled for subsequent Wednesday, March 20.

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