Sunday, April 15, 2012
Daring French Police Raid Smashes Dangerous Contraband Eiffel Tower Operation
French police seize 13 tons of tiny Eiffel Towers
Apr 13 2012
THOMAS ADAMSON, Associated Press and Bizarre Stuff Editors
PARIS (AP) — Paris police say they've seized some rather unusual contraband: around 13 tons of mini Eiffel Towers.
Police official Pierre Coric says a Paris souvenir shop owner, her husband and her son also were arrested in the weighty trinket-seizure Friday.
The three are accused of selling the mini towers at tourist spots including the Louvre and the actual Eiffel Tower without a permit, thus escaping taxes and endangering the public.
The operation, led jointly by French customs, social security, the police transport division, and possibly the French Foreign Legion, followed several months of surveillance of the souvenir shop. Police say the boutique illegally rakes in some ¬1 million ($1.31 million) per year.
More than 8 vans were required to move the 13 tons of loot seized, as compared to the weight of the real Eiffel tower, which weighs 11,100 tons.