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>> Want an Olympic license plate? A hand embroidered Olympic handkerchief? Or how about Olympic cocaine? These and other items are among those seized by police in Rio in an ongoing crackdown against counterfeit products ahead of the Olympic games, which start on Friday. Reuters correspondent Paolo Prada is in Rio.
>> So the ongoing black market bonanza is essentially tied to anything that you can link to the Olympics. At some of the street markets around town, you can find toys. You can find clothing, basic stuff like t-shirts and beach towels, keychains. And if you go further into the black market here in Rio, there's even Olympic branded drugs floating around.
Police in recent weeks have seized Marijuana and small pouches of cocaine that'd been labeled with a basic sheet of paper but with Olympic rings and Rio 2016 on them. So everyone's trying to get in on the action.>> In Brazil, the black market is big business. Sales of fake goods each year exceed well over $30 billion, according to estimates by various industries.
That could hurt the official sponsors, for whom the Olympics are as much about money as they are about sports.>> There's also an Olympic megastore is what they're calling it. The organizers set up a big white tent on Copacabana Beach. Things there aren't exorbitant, depending on who you are, for most foreign tourists, they're reasonably priced goods, t-shirts around $30.
But, lots of the counterfeit goods are selling a lot more quickly, because they're all a fraction of the price. I saw one guy, just outside the store, selling a t-shirt for around nine dollars.>> Officially those who were supposed to get in on the action include major multi-nationals such as Coke and McDonald's.
Then there are the licensees who manufacture and sell the roughly 5,000 official trinkets, garments, and souvenirs for the Olympics. Revenues from those sources are expected to total almost $1 billion despite the booming black market.