- The art of the Con
The Magnificent Iguaçu Falls Are Here Too
City of Ciudad Del Este is located in Paraguay at the confluence of Brazil and
Argentina, where the magnificent Iguaçu Falls shines its glory on three countries.
Paraguay has its own trademark laws, and no matter what you happen to call
your product, it can be trademarked once again here in Paraguay.
The strangest example of this law is the case of a Paraguayan designer
who trademarked the name Calvin Klein and used it so extensively that the people
were shocked to find out that he was not Calvin Klein himself. This type of law has caused companies such
as the Walt Disney Company to avoid the country like the plague.
del Este located on Paraguayâ€™s borders with Argentina and Brazil, has become the
home to some of the most adept counterfeiters in the world. These folks, many
of whom are Islamic Fundamentalist guerrillas who live within the substantial
Shiite Muslim Community here of 6,000 are known to deal in copies of literally
everything that is worth anything. It has been estimated that 100,000 vendors
take over every available inch of ground in the city every morning to display
their wares, which includes every major global designer name of importance.
Police are stultified and do not even attempt to close down stalls with
obviously black market goods with excuses like, “how will these people feed their
families if we close them down?” Naturally they are being well paid to look the
wholesale trade, which operates in the shadows of Ciudad Del Este, is every bit
as important as its retail counterpart. Cheap
unmarked goods are shipped into the city from the Pacific Rim and as such avoid
the restrictive quotas usually placed on these types of goods especially in high
tariff neighbor, Brazil. Additionally,
because the merchandise is not branded, the tariff is negligible.
Designer labels are either imported or printed domestically and slapped
onto the goods for reshipment throughout South America, where entrepreneurs are
able to take advantage of tax treaties to avoid duty.
Although statistics are hard to come by, Paraguay does rank as one of the
few countries in the world where the “black economy”
is at least as large as its regulated economy.
we are not into hasty generalization, this seems like a city where literally everyone
is a criminal of sorts; these folks deal in brand items and expensive software,
but the counterfeiting of highly respectable passports is one of their specialties.
A wonderful authentic looking new identity can purchased here be had for next
to nothing. Moreover, beside a passport they will supply you with driverâ€™s licenses,
credit cards and an entire portfolio of legitimate looking documents, giving you
one terrific bang for the buck. When you realize how good these guys are at what
they do, you kind of wonder how we are going to some of their brothers in the
terror business out of this country.
the aggressive attitude of the folks that live here has caught the attention of
the FBI who are in the prosses of opening an office in Brasilia to be close to
the source of this den of forgery. At the source, in addition to a whole bunch
of nasty people is a Hezbollah cell, which is in the process of training mercenaries
in jungle fighting, bombing and other means of destroying entire cultures. Iran
has also been a large contributor to efforts to make something more out of this
place. However, according to recent statistics, half of the cars on the Paraguayan
Roads have been stolen in Brazil. A nice bunch of folks that they have done here